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Mike Carl Ambrose
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Birth: Apr. 15, 1939
Handley
Tarrant County
Texas, USA
Death: Aug. 29, 2008
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA

OBITUARY
Mike Ambrose; TV weatherman 'Captain Mike' was San Diego icon; 69


By Nina Garin
STAFF WRITER, UT San Diego

September 2, 2008

Mike Ambrose, San Diego's iconic weather reporter with the smooth voice, died Friday morning at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. He was 69.

Mr. Ambrose – known throughout his career as "Captain Mike" – reported the weather and worked on travel features for KGTV from 1973 to 2001. He also created an annual Christmas toy drive for local needy children that still goes on each year.

The tradition began after Mr. Ambrose received a letter from a North County Indian reservation asking him to mention that the children there wouldn't be receiving Christmas presents.

Rather than just talk about it, he created Captain Mike's Toy Drive and delivered gifts not only to those kids, but other needy children every year since 1973. The charity is now called 10ToyDrive.

"To me, the toy drive has been the highlight of my career," he told The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2001.

This compassion is part of the reason he had so many fans.

"I'm so lucky to have witnessed one of the best there ever was," Channel 10 anchor Kimberly Hunt said through tears. "I'm so devastated not just because television lost one of its best, but because the community did, too."

Mr. Ambrose, who was born in Handley, Texas, began his career at KOGO radio in 1966, when the station was part of KGTV. By 1973, he was in front of the camera, reporting area temperatures using a wall map and a big grease pen.

He earned the nickname not because he was a captain, but because of a publicity stunt. Mr. Ambrose wore a World War I flying-ace costume to promote a charity hot-air ballon ride, earing him the honorary title.

And more recently Mr. Ambrose, along with other 1970s-era news anchors, helped inspire the characters for "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," a movie about San Diego television news reporters.

Though he was never a formally trained meteorologist, "Captain Mike" became one of the most popular local TV personalities in town, because of his quirky sense of humor and his ability to seem at ease in front of the camera.

"Just the way he did the weather – with these big flourishes and his arms all over the place – it was so natural," Channel 10 anchor Carol LeBeau said. "He never did anything halfway, no matter how he was feeling."

But the happy-go-lucky Mr. Ambrose was an extremely private person, almost a recluse. He never married or had children. In 2001, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

LeBeau said he had suffered from anxiety and depression.

"Mike had extreme anxiety attacks and I was lucky to have him around when I was developing the same fears," LeBeau said. "He was kind enough to take me aside and direct me to the right doctor. Who knows what would have happened if Mike hadn't intervened. He had such powerful empathy."

Mr. Ambrose suffered a mild heart attack in 1997, forcing him to cut his hours at the TV station.

Close friends say Mr. Ambrose had recently been hospitalized for internal organ issues but never let on just how sick he was.

"It's just indicative of who he was," said Hunt, who saw Mr. Ambrose in the hospital three weeks ago. "He was very private, especially about anything painful. He wanted people to see him having a good time, not being sad. I'm going to miss laughing with him."

============================================
Captain Mike gave his final forecast Monday on 10News Live at 5.

Posted: 09/01/2008

After nearly three decades of bringing San Diegan's the latest local weather, "Captain" Mike Ambrose is hanging up his barometer and retiring from KGTV.
Captain Mike gave his final forecast Monday on 10News Live at 5.

Ambrose began his career in radio, working at KFWB in Hollywood in 1965, and at KRLA in Los Angeles in 1966. He came to San Diego in 1966 first at KOGO radio, moving to television at KGTV in 1973.

During his long tenure as San Diego's most popular weatherman, Captain Mike gave over 15,000 weathercasts for 10News.

He also made San Diego's 10Toy Drive a local tradition, providing thousands of toys to needy children. Helping just 12 Native American children in its first year, the 10Toy Drive is now the largest of its kind in San Diego.

"Mike Ambrose personifies what 10News is all about ... accuracy, stability, dependability and community involvement. He has always been a bright spot in our newscasts and in the newsroom itself. He may be leaving to enjoy a well-earned retirement, but he will always be a part of the Channel 10 family. I know viewers will join all of us in wishing Mike all the best," News Director Mike Stutz said.

Wondering why they call him "Captain"? Ambrose got the nickname after he donned a World War I flying ace costume and rode a hot air balloon as a publicity stunt. He's also substituted for Spencer Christian on ABC's Good Morning America, and has visited Brazil, Hawaii, Mexico, Paris and Switzerland for 10News travel segments.

While Capt. Mike may no longer be on the air, he will remain in the hearts of San Diegans and the 10News family.

by 10News.com.

============================================
Former 10News Weatherman Honored In Memorial Service


Friends and family gathered in Mission Bay Park Tuesday to say goodbye to longtime 10News weatherman "Captain" Mike Ambrose.

Ambrose passed away three weeks ago, and many of his friends and members of the 10News family paid their respects.

10News anchor Kimberly Hunt said, "He was a very classy man… I appreciate what he gave to each and every one of us… I will always treasure our friendship."

Many remembered Ambrose's laugh, talent and kindness.

Former anchor Bree Walker said, "It's OK to leave, Mike, because you left behind all of us who cling together because of you."

"I do believe Mike is in a better place and God knows he deserves it," said Harold Greene, former 10News anchor.

Ambrose was Channel 10's primary weatherman from 1973, when he came over from radio, to his retirement in 2001.

He received the nickname "Capt. Mike" when he came on the 10News set one day wearing the uniform of a World War I flying ace to promote a charity hot-air balloon ride.

Former 10News anchor Jack White added, "I went to work looking forward to seeing Mike because I did feel better when I saw him every day. He lifted your spirits and made everything go around."

Ambrose was 69 years old.

by 10News.com.

============================================
Longtime 10News weatherman Mike Ambrose passed away on Friday morning.

Ambrose had been hospitalized at Scripps Memorial, but the cause of death was not immediately released. Close friends told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Ambrose had recently been hospitalized for internal organ issues.

Ambrose was Channel 10's primary weatherman from 1973, when he came over from radio, to his retirement in 2001.

He received the nickname "Capt. Mike" when he came on the 10News set one day wearing the uniform of a World War I flying ace to promote a charity hot-air balloon ride.

Ambrose's great humor and mellifluous baritone voice made him one of San Diego's most popular and enduring personalities.

Ambrose was 69 years old.

10News partnered with the The Salvation Army for Captain Mike's Toy Drive.

"It was our honor to distribute the toys Captain Mike and his 10News team collected," said Suzi Woodruff Lacey of The Salvation Army. "Thousands of children had toys at Christmas because of his hard work and dedication to helping others."
============================================
Captain Mike Retires From KGTV

Monday, KGTV celebrated the career of "Captain" Mike Ambrose who was retiring after nearly 30 years of weather forecasts. They spent the day reminiscing on the history of Ambrose in old clips of his past news broadcasts, all on channel 10.
After giving over 15,000 weathercasts in 28 years on Channel 10's newscasts (and 36 years in the broadcasting business), as of today, you can call Captain Mike Ambrose, Retired.

When Ambrose first started here in San Diego, he was a radio disc jockey. The year was 1961, radio KDEO 910 changed hands from Dandy Broadcasting to Tellis and Hearn who owned KFXM 590 in San Bernadino. The jock lineup after the change include Don McKenna in the mornings, who did KABC 790 and later went to San Francisco KEWB. He died in a car wreck in Malibu at age 28 in the 60's. Middays was with Don Bowman, very funny guy who jocked with Waylon Jennings in Texas. Afternoons had Mel Hall, the sole holdover from the Dandy regime. Steve Prossno from El Paso was in the Evenings.

The first to go was Prossno, who announced he was homesick for El Paso. His initial replacement did not cut it, but KDEO did a publicity stunt that went something like this:

Some promos, "The KDEO disc jockeys are tired of working under primative radio conditions. We hereby demand that the maagement give us a new mike. If we do not get a new mike within the next two weeks, we're going on strike."

And the jocks went along the stunt counting down until the days until the proposed strike at some day at 6pm in the evening. At that point, a lot of people tuned in wondering if the station was going to stay on or go off. When Mel Hall signed off his show, saying that you might not hear him again. A pre-recorded message stated "Management had relented. Here is your new mike!" And then, Mike Ambrose signed on for the first time as he debut on KDEO 910 that evening! Soon after he started on the station doing evenings, Mike went to middays and Don Bowman went to nights.

After Ambrose left KDEO, he began working at KFWB in Hollywood in 1965, and at KRLA in Los Angeles in 1966. He came to San Diego in 1966 first at KOGO radio, moving to television at KGTV in 1973.

Ambrose was in radio which was right across the hall of what KGTV was known then as KOGO-TV (in the days before 1972 when Time-Life Broadcasting once owned KOGO-TV, KOGO AM 600, and KFSD 94.1) The company still operates a TV station in facilities at state Highway 94 and 47th Street, but before Time Life sold the three properties, the AM and FM facilities are also housed in that building.

It didn't take long before he discovered that there are lights, cameras, and action on the other side of the hall that was television.

"I wasn't interested in becoming an anchor or reporter because I had a feeling that required some work," Ambrose said. "Weather forecasting seemed to be where you could ad lib and have fun."

The man who was doing the weather (the late Louis Roen) was an institution in town, left in 1971, and Ambrose didn't get the job before two other successors tried it and quit, and then he got the job without any formal training as a weather forecaster.

Originally, Ambrose had been tagged to be the station's weekend forecaster but ended up on weekdays while KOGO conducted a national search for a new Monday-through-Friday weatherman.

Like many TV weathermen in the sixties and seventies, they accented the presentation by sticking magnetic pictures of suns and clouds on the weahter maps or drawing symbols and temperatures on the map with grease pens.

He also made San Diego's 10Toy Drive a local tradition, providing thousands of toys to needy children. Helping just 12 Native American children in its first year, the 10Toy Drive is now the largest of its kind in San Diego.

In 1973, he got a letter from somebody saying that children in an Indian reservation wasn't going to get any toys for Christmas, and he mentioned it on the air, and started his Toy Drive, which was originally planned to last that year, but he never imagined that it would go on for almost three decades every Christmas season. "To me, the toy drive has been the highlight of my career," Ambrose said.

In 1973, he got the "Captain" moniker when Ambrose got the nickname after he donned a World War I flying ace costume and rode a hot air balloon as a publicity stunt.

He's also visited Brazil, Hawaii, Mexico, Paris and Switzerland for 10News travel segments.

As for forecasting, Ambrose substituted for Spencer Christian on ABC's "Good Morning America" for a week in 1987. His most talked-about local forecast occurred in the early 1980s when a group of American Indians performed a rain dance in the Channel 10 parking lot during a drought. "It poured the next day," Ambrose said. "We never did that again."

His baritone weather forecasts were a distinctive attribute to a San Diego media legend who predicted everything from low morning clouds to late night frost warnings to high tide warnings to grunion run advisories and everything else in between.

"Quite a while ago I thought 'don't overstay your welcome,' " the 62-year-old Ambrose said recently as he prepared a forecast in his Channel 10 cubbyhole shared with reporter Lisa Lake. "Asking an audience to put up with someone for so many years is a long time, so it's time to move on," Ambrose said.

"Mike Ambrose personifies what 10News is all about ... accuracy, stability, dependability and community involvement. He has always been a bright spot in our newscasts and in the newsroom itself. He may be leaving to enjoy a well-earned retirement, but he will always be a part of the Channel 10 family. I know viewers will join all of us in wishing Mike all the best," News Director Mike Stutz said.

Mike's final words: "...and that's it for me. Thank you for 36 years, and I will miss all of you, and I hope I find something to do...I don't know what else to say except that I'm one of the luckiest people that have ever came down the pipe to have worked with kind of people and to be friends with people like you, all that have supported me right or wrong, and I have made lots of mistakes over that long period of time, but, I will truly miss everybody and people that I have worked with, and I mean this, the people that I've worked with are the best friends that I've ever had. Houers Vas (sp?)."

Sources: KGTV, Union-Tribune, DFS News
============================================
Mike's Facebook Memorial Page

Video Tribute to Captain Mike

Remembering Capt Mike

============================================ 
 
Burial:
Unknown
 
Maintained by: Pat McArron
Originally Created by: frank amari
Record added: Sep 02, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29497646
Mike Carl Ambrose
Added by: frank amari
 
Mike Carl Ambrose
Added by: frank amari
 
 
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Click on image for full size.


-Anonymous
 Added: Dec. 6, 2014
A new breed of weather men and women are on the horizon,walking in your footsteps..but Captain Mike,know this..none of them can ever replace you.I've watched you for many many years here in San Diego on KGTV 10.You are missed.we'll meet again in Paradise(...(Read more)
- Matthew
 Added: Apr. 19, 2014

- countedx58
 Added: Jan. 17, 2009
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