Diane Clatto became the first Black TV weather presenter in the US in 1962

Clatto was a part of many firsts.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


Dianne White Clatto is the first Black person to be a full-time weather presenter on TV in the US.

Clatto was born in St. Louis, Missouri on Dec. 28, 1938, to parents Milton and Nettie Johnson. She was a descendant of a Civil War general’s enslaved mistress.

Clatto was a part of many firsts in her life. She was among the first Black students at the University of Missouri, the first Black model for a St. Louis department store, and the first full-time Black weathercaster in the nation, at what was then KSD-TV.

It's a cool story of how Clatto got into the weather scene. She was a manager at the cosmetics company Avon and hosted a radio show to teach women how to sell.

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Dianne White on July 30, 1970, at KSD-TV

Courtesy of St. Louis Post Dispatch

A bandleader on-air, Russ David, listened to Clatto and immediately heard her talent. David recommended Clatto to an executive at KSD-TV in St. Louis.

Clatto met with the executive and was offered the job on the spot. She was paid $75/week.

Courtesy: KSD-TV, 1960s

Courtesy: KSD-TV, 1960s

So, Clatto went from talking about makeup to the latest in weather. She worked as a weather presenter for 12 years, until the industry shifted from weathercasters to meteorologists.

Clatto landed other jobs as a journalist which eventually landed her in the St. Louis Black Journalism Hall of Fame and the Missouri Hall of Fame.

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To learn more about Clatto's journey, listen to today's episode of "This Day in Weather History."

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Thumbnail image: Dianne White Clatto, in 1967, on KSD-TV. Courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch