Blog Entry Details
Nick Charles Loses Gallant Battle With Cancer
By Dr. Jeffrey J. Roth Wed, June 29, 2011 4:52 pm MDT
Our planet was significantly diminished last Saturday as Nick Charles passed away while looking out from his back porch over the beauty of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
From humble beginnings, Nick rose to become the first sportscaster on CNN. He called many sporting events, but he loved calling the fights. He would say that he has been to about every championship event, (baseball, football, basketball, etc), but nothing compares to a big fight. That passion was evident as he described the sweet science. He loved the boxers, who came into the ring only in a pair of shorts and boots to do battle. Most of them have nothing, only the heart that they have within them. “You’re going to get hit. You have to take pain to get it,” Charles said about boxing, and what seemed like his own life. “You have to fight through fear.”
He had stage 4 inoperable bladder cancer. He was on borrowed time. He got the chance to call his last fight on former rival broadcasting network HBO. As always, he did a remarkable job. When he signed off for the last time, the other boxing broadcasters, usually a tough bunch of guys, could hardly keep it together. The director in the broadcast truck quickly went to commercial.
He had cancer that ultimately killed him. It did not diminish his spirit one bit. He chose to fight what was eating him from the inside. He wanted to be an inspiration to others. He absolutely is. His final weeks on earth were filled with making birthday videos for his daughter so that she would not forget him. He gave interviews and welcomed news crews into his home so that we could hear his story.
Here are a few of Nick's wise and valiant words:
"Live your life to the end."
"So I wake up every day expecting to have a good day.”
“My story is that again, to never give up on life. It’s imperfect, we’re going to have our huge adversities, we’re going to have our little annoyances, but in terms of what happens to us is 20 percent, in terms of how I react to it is 80 percent.”
“I just want to encourage people and inspire them to look at life in that way … that they do have control about the way they view every day.”
"Find that little kernel every day that brings you pleasure and joy -- and fasten onto that. That's what's going to make life worth living. Always look for the best."
"People won't remember who you are or what you said. It's really about: Are you going to be remembered as a good person?" he said. "That's victory to me. That's success."
I think we all agree that Nick Charles went out victorious.
He is survived by his wife of wife of 14 years and his 5 year old daughter. He has three other children from two previous marriages.
Nick and Cory Charles favorite charity is World Vision TEACH NOW: Preventing Child Labor in the Phillipines project. They committed themselves to eradicate child labor issues in the Phillipines and to raise awareness of the thousands of children who are being exploited in the Asian island nation.
The Charles family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to www.worldvision.org/EmbraceLife, so that the work that Nick and Cory Charles started can be continued after his death.
Please read my original blog for a maybe a little more insight.
Please read the stories cited below. They tell his story much better than I can. Thank you to Fred Sternberg for the list.
Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgery
Joe Posanski, Sports Illustrated: "My Friend Nick Charles"
Ron Borges, TheSweetScience.com: "Rest in Peace, Nick Charles"
Wayne Drash, CNN: "Renowned CNN Sports Broadcaster Nick Charles Dies at 64"
Bob Raissman, New York Daily News: "Nick Charles, Former CNN Sportscaster & Top Boxing Voice, Dies at 64 From Incurable Bladder Cancer"
Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports: "Boxing Loses Inspirational Charles"
Doug Mead, Examiner. CNN original sportscaster Nick Charles embraces charity even in death
LIVING TRIBUTES TO NICK FROM PAST YEAR
Joe Posanski, Sports Illustrated: "Lessons of the Fight Game"
Joe Posanski, Sports Illustrated: "Behind The Back Page"
Joe Posanski, Sports Illustrated: "Honesty"
Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports: "Charles Won't Go Down Without a Fight"
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Blog: "Lessons from The Fight"
"Sanjay Gupta MD," CNN: "Nick Charles: Lessons From the Fight"
Kevin Cowherd, The Baltimore Sun: "Former CNN, WJZ Anchor Charles Making Most of His Final Months"
Tim Smith, New York Daily News: "Longtime Boxing Announcer Nick Charles, 64, Calls Final Bout While Battling Stage 4 Bladder Cancer"
Steve Hummer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Veteran Sportscaster in Fight of His Life"
Franz Lidz, Sports Illustrated (1994): "Hickman And Charles"
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