Nick Charles, the first sports anchor of CNN, died Saturday at the age of 64, after battling with bladder cancer for two years.
The competent Nick Charles, who served as the sports anchor for Cable News Network for nearly two decades, died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. CNN reported, "Charles died overlooking the Santa Fe, N.M. landscape he loved," cited his wife, Cory.
For almost two decades, the former taxi driver Nick Charles hosted the CNN show "Sports Tonight" alongside Fred Hickman. The show competed with ESPN's "SportsCenter". At the occasion of CNN's debut on June 1, 1980, Charles and Hickman anchored the Atlanta-based cable network's "Sports Tonight" and carried on the responsibility for a long time.
After the death of Nick Charles, current President of CNN Worldwide Jim Walton said, "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."
According to CNN, Nicholas Charles grew up poor in Chicago and studied journalism and communications in Columbia College. He drove a taxi to support his education and was still a taxi driver when he auditioned for the first television job in 1970 in Springfield, Ill.
Before joining CNN, Nick Charles also worked in Baltimore and Washington. He got fame for covering nearly every sporting event for two decades for CNN.
Half-Greek and half-Sicilian, Nick Charles was known for his good looks, curly-black hair and sharp clothing. After leaving CNN in 2001, Charles joined Showtime as a commentator on boxing.
During his association with Showtime, Charles covered some of the most memorable sports' fights, including the one in whichbit Evander Holyfield's ear. After he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, Nick Charles was forced to take leave from Showtime in 2009.
Before his death, the only appearance of Nick Charles on TV was on HBO's "Boxing After Dark", last March. In an April 8 CNN.com article, Nick Charles reflected on dying and spoke about making video diaries for his 5-year-old daughter, Giovanna, to remember him.
In his last interview in March, Charles gave a message to his fans that "never give up on life even though it's imperfect and filled with huge adversities."
Nick Charles is survived by his wife, Cory, their daughter, Giovanna, and three adult children from his two previous marriages, Jason, 39, Melissa, 36 and Katie, 24.