Monday, June 27, 2011
Nick Charles, CNN's first sports anchor, died Sunday of bladder cancer. He was 64. Charles, who was once a taxi driver, started working at the cable news network on its first day, back in 1980. Recalling those early years, he said when I came back to work each Monday, I wasn't sure if the station would still be there or if it would be a dry cleaning store. Nick Charles co-anchored the CNN show "Sports Night" for 17 years, then created his own sports show. Boxing was his specialty, but he also covered the Winter Olympics, Super Bowls, the Kentucky Derby and the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
In an odd footnote to Charles' career, he was knocked off CNN by Osama bin-Laden. After 9/11, CNN had no time for sports and cancelled his show, Sports Tonight. They've been 100% news ever since.
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