June Bacon-Bercey was the only African-American woman to earn a degree in meteorology in the 1950s. She went on to become the first female television meteorologist in the country by assuming the position of weathercaster in Buffalo, New York, in 1970. Two years later she was honored as the first #African American and the first woman to earn the American Meteorological Society’s Seal of Approval for excellence in television weathercasting. Throughout her career, Bacon-Bercey spent time in government service, working for the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency. Bacon-Bercey has worked in research, forecasting, weathercasting, and public affairs and has also been active in professional associations, including the American Meteorological Society Board on Women and Minorities, of which she is a founding member. After over three decades in the field of meteorology, Bacon-Bercey retired and became a consultant and an educator, dedicating much of her time encouraging women and minorities to pursue degrees and careers in meteorology.
June Bacon-Bercey was born on October 23, 1932, in Wichita, Kansas. Her father was an attorney and her mother was a music teacher. Bacon-Bercey was an only child who enjoyed bike riding, hiking, playing the piano, and participating in Girl Scout activities. She was excluded from many other social activities as a child because her parents were very strict and because of the racism of the 1940s and 1950s. However, this isolation allowed her to develop discipline and good study habits that would help her later on in life.