John Coleman, a long-serving San Diego weatherman who co-founded the Weather Channel, died Saturday at his Las Vegas residence at the age of 83. The news of his death was confirmed by his wife Linda Coleman. The cause of his death is unknown.

Coleman was the first forecaster on ABC’s "Good Morning America" when it launched in 1975. He served as the channel's weatherman for seven years.

He also served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Weather Channel for roughly a year after helping launch it in 1981, before being forced out by his financial investors at Landmark Communications.

"I don’t want to talk too much about that," he had told the Times of San Diego in a profile. "I’m very proud to have created The Weather Channel and very proud of the people I hired and getting it going. And the format I established. And very disappointed in The Weather Channel today."

Born in Alpine, Texas in 1934, he bagged his first television job while still a student at the University of Illinois in 1953 at WCIA in Champaign, Illinois. After completing his graduation, Coleman worked at several local television stations in Chicago and throughout the Midwest before he joined WLS, the ABC station in Chicago.

In 1983, Coleman was named Broadcast Meteorologist of the year by the American Meteorological Society. The organization credited Coleman for "his pioneering efforts in establishing a national cable weather channel," NBC San Diego reported.

800px-John_Coleman_KUSI John Coleman was named Broadcast Meteorologist of the year by the American Meteorological Society in 1983. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Coleman is remembered for his runs specifically at two local television stations — from 1968 to 1979 at WLS, the ABC station in Chicago and from 1984 to 1990 at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5.

Coleman left the Weather Channel and continued serving on stations in New York and Chicago. He last worked and went on to join KUSI-TV in San Diego, where he spent two decades as a weatherman before he retired in 2014.

"We are deeply saddened to report that longtime KUSI weatherman and founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman has passed away at age 8," KUSI-TV said in a statement on Twitter.

In later years of serving as a weatherman, he drew criticism as an outspoken skeptic of climate change, when he called global warming "the greatest scam in history" and declared it as "a threat to our economy and our civilization."

Coleman produced a report for KUSI-TV in 2010 called "Global Warming: The Other Side," in which he stated that global warming is a "scam," and further went on to accuse federal agencies of manipulating temperature date.

Also in another KUSI news segment in 2013, Coleman, while speaking about a global warming study, chastised national media for reporting about it from "an environmental point of view and their continuing liberal, political agenda."

Jason Austell, an anchor for KUSI-TV's segment "Good Morning San Diego," said that Coleman was "a beloved meteorologist."

"This is a big loss for the weather community," Alex Tardy, a forecaster at the National Weather Service said. "He brought a lot of energy and color and enthusiasm to forecasting. My kids loved watching him on TV."