WASHINGTON, January 3, 2014 – ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott has died, losing his battle with cancer at the age of 49. Born in Chicago, Scott grew up in North Carolina where he attended high-school in Winston-Salem, N.C. and college at the University of North Carolina.
Scott worked for the student radio station while at UNC, he worked for broadcasters South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida before he was picked up by ESPN where he worked for 22 years until his death. Scott was one of the first prominent African-American broadcasters in television building a relationship with younger black audiences.
And those who might not otherwise watch a sports show, but who enjoyed Scott’s enthusiasm and catchphrases.
Scott’s cancer was discovered in 2007 during an emergency appendectomy that revealed a malignancy. As Scott battled the disease, he continued to work, becoming a leading anchor for the sports network where he handled stories for ESPN The Magazine, coverage of the MLB, NBA and NFL playoffs and college basketball’s Final Four.
Most recently, Scott was in the anchor chair alongside his longtime partner, Steve Levy, when ESPN re-launched SportsCenter on a new set.
The always dapper Scott was known for his trademark catch phrase, “Boo-Yah”, one of nine different phrases he used in narrating the plays of the night while anchoring the SportsCenter evening round-up. He brought a sense of fun and verve to the sports desk that was fun – even for non sports fans.
“ESPN and everyone in the sports world have lost a true friend and a uniquely inspirational figure in Stuart Scott,” said ESPN president John Skipper. “Who engages in mixed-martial-arts training in the midst of chemotherapy treatments? Who leaves a hospital procedure to return to the set? His energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work while fighting the battle of his life left us in awe, and he leaves a void that can never be replaced.”
At last summer’s ESPY Awards, Scott received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance just before he underwent surgery. At that ceremony he said:
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
Scott is survived by his two daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15; his parents, O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott; his three siblings – Stephen Scott, Synthia Kearney, Susan Scott – and their families as well as his girlfriend, Kristin Spodobalski. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The V Foundation.
Communities Digital News offers its condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Scott.