Now more than ever, Ginger Zee believes true stories of heroes should be told.
She has a weekly venue for that, since the chief meteorologist for ABC News and “Good Morning America” also hosts the network’s Saturday-morning show “Hearts of Heroes,” tracing efforts by rescue workers to save people and pets in times of localized crisis. Since many of the situations are related to dangerous weather, Zee believes she’s in the right place with the show.
“I always say, ‘What were you guys planning to do if you didn’t have a meteorologist host this?,’ ” she notes. “The stories tell themselves, but there’s a lot of weather information. The writers and producers have gotten used to me ripping things apart and making it accurate but entertaining, while also honoring the heroes. That’s what the show is really about.”
Zee admits she knew only casually of Belfor USA, the property-restoration company that co-produces “Hearts of Heroes,” before she started the program. Its CEO, Sheldon Yellen, also appears in each episode; deeming him “really special,” Zee says he “adores firefighters, to the point where he wants to be one. This has allowed him to be in firehouses, connect with people and say ‘Thank you’ on a personal level.”
“Hearts of Heroes” is in its second season, and Zee hopes it has a long run ahead: “We might hear from a victim, but we never get to hear from the actual heroes … and here, we get to hear the perspective of the policeman or the fireman or the EMS worker. Right now, it’s even more important to highlight those folks who really are on the front lines.”
Birthdate: Jan. 13, 1981
Birthplace: Orange, Calif.
Current residence: New York
Marital status: Married to television journalist Ben Aaron; they have two sons, Adrian and Miles
Other television work includes: “Good Morning America,” “Evel Live 2,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Famous in Love,” “Younger,” “Jeopardy!,” “Rachael Ray,” “The View,” “The Chew,” “Renovation Realities: Ben and Ginger,” “20/20,” “Worst Cooks in America,” “Tornado Chasers,” “Storm Chasers,” WMAQ-TV (Chicago), WBMA-TV (Birmingham, Ala.), WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.), WYIN-TV (Merrittville, Ind.), WEYI-TV (Flint, Mich.)
How she was named: Her father loved “Gilligan’s Island” and named her for one of the sitcom’s characters played by Tina Louise