Nick Charles, the first sports anchor at CNN and a wonderful boxing announcer, died today from bladder cancer. His wife, Cory, told CNN that Charles died while looking over his landscape in Santa Fe, N.M.
He was 64 years old, and he had known for months that his condition would be fatal. But he was courageous in the face of death, and stories about the video diaries he was preparing for his 5-year-old daughter were uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time (he had told his daughter that he would be going to heaven to prepare a place for her so they can spend together forever).
From an April 2011 Time story on Charles:
The CNN video excerpts a series of messages that Charles has taped for his daughter, so that she'll have something to remember him by as she grows up. In one, he wishes her a happy seventh birthday as his wife of 13 years, Cory, holds the camera.
"My little girl needs a good daddy more than anything right now," he told CNN. "This is a gift from God where I need to build these memories for her, so that I'm not a blur."
Charles said his wife is "as strong as they come" and that she and Giovanna have such a strong foundation and bond with each other that he is "totally at ease" that they will continue to thrive without him.
For now, Charles is coping, fighting through the fear. "My story is to never give up on life," he said.
A fond farewell to one hell of a talent.
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