Ginger Zee

Ginger Renee Colonomos (née Zuidgeest; born January 13, 1981), known by her pseudonym Ginger Zee, is an American television personality. She is the chief meteorologist for ABC News. Previously she was their weekend meteorologist.[1]

Ginger Zee
Ginger Zee (cropped)
Zee in 2015
BornGinger Renee Zuidgeest
January 13, 1981 (age 37)
Orange, California, U.S.
Other namesGinger Colonomos
EducationValparaiso University
Alma materValparaiso University (B.S.)
Years active2004–present
Known forBroadcast meteorologist
Ben Aaron (m. 2014)

Early life and education

Zee was born Ginger Renee Zuidgeest on January 13, 1981 in Orange, California, the daughter of Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft (née Hemleb) and Robert Zuidgeest.[2][3][4] The family moved to Michigan before she was 1 year old.[2] Zee was named after "Ginger" from Gilligan's Island by her Dutch father, due to his love of the show.[5]

In her extended family, Zee has a stepfather named Carl Craft, and two half-sisters, Adrianna and Elaina Craft.[6][7] Zee's paternal grandparents are Adriaan Cornelis "Adrian" or "Arie" Zuidgeest and Hillegonda "Hilda" Zuidgeest (née VanderShoor), who both immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands.[4] Zee's maternal grandfather is George Joseph Hemleb and grandmother Paula Adeline Wesner.[6]

Zee said she chose to be a meteorologist because, "I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan when I was eight... I was mesmerized. I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen."[8] In 1999, Zee graduated from Rockford High School in Rockford, Michigan. After that, Zee went on to Valparaiso University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology as well as a major in both mathematics and Spanish. Her goal at graduation was to be a Meteorologist on The Today Show by age 30.[9]


Spencer and Zee at Pre-White House Correspondents%27 Dinner Reception Pre-Party - 14110850212 (cropped)
Lara Spencer (left) and Zee at the 2014 Pre-White House Correspondents' Dinner Reception Pre-Party

After graduating from college, Zee worked for various media outlets such as WEYI-TV in Flint, Michigan, WYIN-TV in Merrillville, Indiana, WLAV-FM and WOOD-TV both in Grand Rapids, Michigan, WBMA-LD ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama as an intern under chief meteorologist James Spann, and WMAQ in Chicago, Illinois, an NBC owned and operated station.[10] While working at WMAQ from 2006-2011, Zee was once asked to fill in as a guest meteorologist on the weekend edition of The Today Show, and this fulfilled her high school goal.[1][11] In addition, Zee is an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist.[12]

Zee reached national prominence when she joined Good Morning America Weekend on November 12, 2011.[1][13] Zee occasionally appears on other ABC programming such as Nightline and ABC World News Tonight.

On December 2, 2013, ABC News announced that Zee would become Chief Meteorologist for Good Morning America and weather editor for ABC News, succeeding Sam Champion, who took a job with The Weather Channel.[14]

On March 4, 2016, Zee was announced as a celebrity competitor on the 22nd season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy.[15] The couple reached third place.

Personal life

At age 21, Zee was diagnosed with narcolepsy.[8] In August 2013, Zee became engaged to WNBC personality Benjamin Aaron Colonomos, known as Ben Aaron.[16] The couple wed on June 7, 2014.[17] Their son Adrian Benjamin was born in December 2015 in Petoskey, Michigan.[18][19] On August 14, 2017, she announced on Good Morning America she was pregnant with her second child. On February 9, 2018 she gave birth to a boy, named Miles Macklin.


  1. ^ a b c "Ginger Zee's Biography". ABC News (2011-11-04). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  2. ^ a b Feder, Robert (November 7, 2011). "For Ginger Zee at ABC, 'absolute dream' comes true". Time Out. Time Out Group Limited. ISSN 1711-7976. Retrieved June 9, 2014. I was born in Orange, California.... We moved to Michigan before I was 1...
  3. ^ California Birth Index. "Ginger Renee Zuidgeest". California Birth Index. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Hilda (Zuidgeest) VanderShoor". Grand Rapids, Michigan: August 22, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2014. ...her two children, Nancy Zukowski (Randy), Robert Zuidgeest; her grandchildren, Ginger Zuidgeest, Sean Zuidgeest, and their mother, Dawn Zuidgeest-Craft...
  5. ^ Borrelli, Christopher (June 30, 2010). "The stormy rise of Ginger Zee". The Seattle Times. Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "George Hemleb Obituary". The Grand Rapids Press. Michigan. December 18, 2011. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  7. ^ Pierson, Coleen (November 12, 2011). "Rockford's Ginger Zee makes her debut on 'Good Morning America'". The Grand Rapids Press. Michigan: Booth Newspapers. Archived from the original on August 5, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Ginger Zee". Retrieved August 8, 2015. I chose this career because I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan when I was eight. My mom told us to get inside, but I was mesmerized. I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame class of 2012 inductees announced". The Rockford Squire/Squire News (2012-07-05). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Ginger Zee makes Today Show debut". WOOD-TV (2010-02-27). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Ginger Zee starts new job at America". WOOD-TV (2011-11-12). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2013-12-02). "Sam Champion Leaves 'Good Morning America' For Weather Channel, Ginger Zee To Replace Him". Deadline. PMC. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  15. ^ "Ginger Zee to Join 'Dancing With the Stars,' Partnered With Val Chmerkovskiy". ABC News. March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  16. ^ "Ginger Zee: Taken by storm". Splash. Chicago Splash. May 30, 2014. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  17. ^ Strohm, Emily (June 7, 2014). "Ginger Zee Marries Ben Aaron". People. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  18. ^ "ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee expecting 2nd child". ABC News. August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  19. ^ Chance, Todd (June 8, 2014). "Ginger Zee's wedding: See the 'after party' pictures from Petoskey". Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2017.

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