Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion made a surprise TV appearance in Houston last Friday morning, and many viewers were curious as to why. Without a major news story or event, it seemed unusual for Champion to be broadcasting his weather reports from Houston's Discovery Green—and unfortunately, the reason is now clear. Sam Champion's father, Lt. Col. James H. Champion, passed away Monday night at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Rumors are flying around the web that Sam went on leave to marry his rumored boyfriend, but it sure seems like a carefree honeymoon couldn't be further from the truth.
Good Morning America senior executive producer Jim Murphy wrote an e-mail to the show's staff today, saying,
After a life of service to his country and his family, Lt. Col. James H. Champion, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), passed away last night in Houston, Texas. He was better known to us as Sam Champion's dad. Sam, his sister Teresa and his mom, Sylvia, were all together with the Lt. Col. at the end.
Sam also posted to his Twitter account earlier today, confirming the death:
THANK YOU! I feel your thots [sic] and prayer LtCol JH Champion USMC Ret..passed last night..WORLDS BEST DAD..awesome guy
Sam Champion has been the weather anchor on GMA since 2006. He will not be on GMA for the rest of the week.
Condolences to Mr. Champion and family. And Sam, I hope the next time people assume you're on your honeymoon, you get to read about it from a peaceful tropical beach, with drink in hand.
Image via ABC