Sunday, June 26, 2011

CNN Sportscaster Nick Charles Dies of Cancer at 64

Renowned CNN sports anchor and boxing announcer Nick Charles has lost the most important fight of all: his battle against bladder cancer.

The beloved sportscaster, best known for his commentary on Sports Tonight, passed away Saturday after battling the disease since 2009, according to CNN.

Charles's wife, Cory, told the network his death was a peaceful one, however, saying he died gazing at the land he cherished in Santa Fe, N.M.

Although Charles' career catapulted while he co-anchored Sports Tonight with Fred Hickman (Charles even had his own sports trading card), he actually started working for the network on the day of its inception, June 1, 1980.

Charles, an avowed boxing fan, also called fights for Showtime's ShoBox series. Calling Charles his "friend and brother," Mike Tyson tweeted today that he is "mourning the loss of a true warrior."

Charles inspired even non-sports fanatics during his courageous battle with cancer. After discovering he was stricken with the illness, he went on to make birthday video diaries for his young daughter, and spoke openly about preparing his family for the day he was gone.

"This is a gift from God where I need to build these memories for her, so that I'm not a blur," Charles told CNN. "I feel that when I go, that I'm going to prepare a place for my daughter and my wife. I'm going to be in their heart and soul. I tell them that every day."

Charles hoped to spread the message, "never give up on life."

"It's an imperfect world, but, boy, it's still beautiful," he said.

 Charles is survived by his wife of 13 years, Cory, their daughter Giovanna, as well as children from previous marriages: son Jason, and daughters Melissa and Katie.  

May he rest in peace.

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