As my colleague Marcus Henry has already reported, Nick Charles has died after a long and courageous fight against cancer.
Charles spent most his adult-life in front of a camera. He was a sports anchor for CNN for years and was most recently a play-by-play man for Showtime's ShoBox series.
"I've spent most of the day on email and the phone," said Steve Farhood, Charles' broadcast partner on ShoBox. "Nick touched so many people and they want to express their feelings. The outpouring is amazing."
On Father's Day, CNN aired a special about Nick Charles. It was hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and contained a very moving reunion between Charles and Mike Tyson. If you missed it, you will get another chance. Sunday morning, June 26, at 7:30 a.m. ET. Dr. Gupta will introduce the re-airing of the program on CNN.
Don't miss it this time.
Follow this link for a preview: http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/15/former-cnn-sports-anchor-nick-charles-talks-about-lessons-from-his-fight-for-life/
Here are some statements regarding the passing of Charles:
“As a journalist and sports personality, Nick Charles helped put CNN on the map in its early days. He brought intelligence, style and heart to his work--qualities that translated to our company and inspired those of us who were fortunate to work alongside him. His passing is a loss to CNN, to the sports world and to the fans and friends everywhere who were with him to the end of his extraordinary life. Like them, our thoughts today are of Nick and with his family.” -- Jim Walton President, CNN Worldwide
"For a novice broadcaster like myself, it was such an opportunity to work with one of the best sports broadcasters of our era. And what Nick proved on ShoBox, from the very beginning, was that he had a strong and legitimate love for boxing. And it says a lot about the man, that the people I've been hearing from today, are the cutmen, the ring announcers, the trainers. He loved everything about boxing and everybody in it. My initial emotion when I heard he had passed, was that I wished more people could have known him," -- Steve Farhood, boxing analyst and broadcast partner, Showtime.
"Even though we knew this day would come, it was still a shock to hear about the passing of my friend Nick. He was a grand dreamer, and his dreams only grew when confronted with the mortality he faced with courage and grace. I grew up watching Nick reporting the biggest sports stories, and it was a privilege to later know him, and call him a friend. We shared the special bond of being fathers to young daughters, and my heavy heart is with 5-year-old Giovanna today, his extraordinary wife Cory, and his entire family." -- Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent .
Plainview welterweight Tommy Rainone, who won a fight last night in Woodhaven, Queens, called the other day to ask if I ever met Nick. I told him that through Farhood, I became friends with Charles. Rainone had just seen the piece with Nick and Mike Tyson on CNN.
"I wish I had met that man," said Rainone. "What a courageous man."
Rainone explained how the CNN broadcast had moved him and he told me that I was lucky to have actually met Nick Charles.
He was right.