Nick Charles Loses Cancer Battle

Sportscaster Nick Charles dies of bladder cancer

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Nick Charles, one of America's most beloved sportscasters, didn't achieve his last goal. He wanted to celebrate his 65th birthday on June 30th. He didn't make it.

Charles died on June 25th in Santa Fe, New Mexico after a nearly two-year battle with bladder cancer.

When he received the diagnosis, his doctors said it was incurable cancer and the outlook grim. Without treatment, he'd have 4-6 months left; with treatment, about 20. That was August 4, 2009. He outlasted the doctors' predictions - he lived 22 months.

Charles was a fighter. He said in a CNN article that he told the doctors, "I want the biggest guns you can fire at me."

That declaration started a long and painful process of round after round of chemotherapy. He lost his signature black mass of hair - part of the reason he was named America's sexiest sportscaster and one of the country's most handsome men.

In his last years, Charles has been spending a lot of time taping birthday videos for his five-year-old daughter, Giovanna, whom he called, "A blessing who came to me late in life."

"This is a gift from God where I need to build these memories for her, so that I'm not a blur," he said.

Charles knew he was dying. He treasured every day, every breath, and he wanted to cherish the days he had left. He stopped the chemo in January of this year, saying, "I want to feel everything in life while I can."

While Charles covered all the major sporting events during his  40-year career, his favorite was boxing. He and Mike Tyson became great friends. They spoke on the phone several times a week.

Upon learning of his death, Tyson posted on Twitter, "Mourning the loss of a true warrior. My friend & brother, Nick Charles."

During a March interview with CNN writer Wayne Drash, Charles said of his goals - including turning 65, "If I don't make it," he said, "there's no need for any pity parties."

"People won't remember who you are or what you said," he said. "It's really about: Are you going to be remembered as a good person?"

"That's victory to me. That's success."

According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 70,530 new cases of bladder cancer and 14,680 deaths from the disease in the United States in 2010.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 25, 2011
Last Updated:
June 28, 2011