Former WJZ Sports Anchor Passes Away

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Nick Charles, a former sports anchor at WJZ, has passed away of bladder cancer.  He was 64.  Adam May has more.

In the 1970s, Nick Charles was a popular sportscaster at WJZ.  He worked alongside Jerry Turner and Bob Turk.  Then, in 1980, he became a pioneer in cable news, teaming up with Fred Hickman on Sports Tonight for almost 17 years.

In August 2009, Charles was diagnosed with Stage IV bladder cancer.  After enduring rounds of chemo and radiation, he recently talked about keeping positive.

“I think about my mortality and I’ll think about…just look at the sky and say, `This is beautiful, this morning.  Look at this dawn,’ and I’ll only go that far,” Charles said.  “In life you need short-term, medium-term and long-range goals.  I’m at the short-term goals.  It’s almost day-to-day, moment to moment and it’s really quite sustaining for me and actually invigorating.”

He lived longer than his doctors expected, inspired by his five-year-old daughter Giovanna and his wife, Cory.  He didn’t hide from his youngest child that he was dying.

“Spiritually, I tell her that, you know, I’m going to prepare a better place for you and we’re going to be there eventually.  The eternal picture is a difficult concept for a five-year-old but we talk about heaven a lot,” Charles said.

He died surrounded by the people he loved.  He is survived by his wife and four children.

Before his passing, he recorded a series of video messages for his family and friends.


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