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Watch: Harvey Leonard bids farewell to WCVB

"It has been a true privilege."

Harvey Leonard prepares for a broadcast in February. David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Wrapping up a fifty-year career, WCVB-TV Channel 5 Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard said a heartfelt goodbye Wednesday as he delivered his final nightly weather forecast.

Leonard, who joined Channel 5 in 2002, announced his retirement earlier this month. In the fall, he plans to transition to the position of chief meteorologist emeritus, “contributing to severe weather and climate coverage important to our community,” a statement from WCVB read.

“Where to begin?” Leonard said as he bid farewell to viewers Wednesday night. “I have been so blessed to have a true passion —meteorology — and to be given a chance to express that passion for so long in a place I love to work and live.

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“It has been a true privilege,” he continued. “And over that time, so much has happened in your life and in mine.

The meteorologist noted that when he started his career, he was “single.”

“And as I finish – almost finished – I am blessed to have a wonderful wife, who you’ve now met, two fabulous daughters that you’ve now met, two terrific sons-in-law — you’ll meet one — and five incredible grandkids,” Leonard said. “Each one a true blessing. I love all of them very much and I thank them for all of their love and support.”

In addition to his actual family, the longtime meteorologist expressed gratitude for his “remarkable professional family here at WCVB.”

“This has always been and still is a very special station,” he said. “From our weather team to our news team to everyone who works behind the scene — all of my coworkers make it as professional and warm a setting as there could ever be in this industry.”

Finally, he thanked the viewers, calling the “outpouring” he has received “overwhelming.”

“It’s not just how many of you have taken the time to write; it’s what you’re saying,” Leonard said. “It’s clear it’s coming from your heart and it has deeply touched mine.”

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Though it may take some time, Leonard said he plans to respond to “each and every” person who has sent him a kind note. 

“Thank you for watching all these years,” he said. “Be well. I wish all of you all the very best.”

The camera then panned to show Leonard joined on screen by some members of his family, as well as co-anchors and members of his work family Maria Stephanos and Ed Harding.

“We’re the ones who are blessed, Harvey,” Harding said.   

The news anchor asked Leonard, “Now that you’re retired, what is the first thing you’re going to do when you get home tonight?”

Though he indicated that his wife might have other ideas, Harvey said he was looking forward to watching Rafael Nadal’s match at the French Open. 

“It’s always tennis,” Stephanos joked. 

Watch Leonard’s farewell below:

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