John R. Hope
John R. Hope was one of the best-known and well-respected meteorologists and hurricane forecasters in the nation.
After 37 years in the National Weather Service, he joined The Weather Channel when it was created in 1982 and served as the tropical coordinator and on-camera meteorologist. In just over three decades, Hope went from releasing and tracking weather balloons, to working on manned space flights to the moon and programming some of the then largest computers in the world, earning international recognition for this technical work.
Hope attended the University of Illinois where he majored in mathematics. He earned a master's degree in meteorology from the University of Chicago. His distinguished career in meteorology began in 1941 when he became a weather observer and forecaster in the United States Army Air Corps. He joined the United States Weather Bureau in 1949 and was an aviation forecaster and a district forecaster before becoming a principle assistant in the Spaceflight Meteorology Group in 1962. He transferred to the National Hurricane Center in 1968 and was soon named a senior hurricane specialist.
Hope received many public service awards, including the 1971 United States Department of Commerce Silver Medal in 1971, the National Hurricane Conference Media Award in 1990 and the Governor's Award from the Florida Governor's Hurricane Conference in 1994. He served as chair of the Forecasts and Warning Committee of the Hurricane Warning Conference from 1972 to 1981.
Following his retirement from the Weather Channel in 1997, Hope continued to provide around-the- clock coverage, as needed, during the annual hurricane season. In January 2000, The Weather Channel established the John R. Hope Scholarship in Atmospheric Sciences, which is administered by the American Meteorological Society.
Hope was born in 1919 in Stowell, Pa. He died in June 2002 at age 83.
Hope received the honorary degree Doctor of Public Service from Coastal Carolina University during the May 2000 commencement ceremony.