Yesha Callahan

Legendary ESPN SportsCenter Anchor Stuart Scott Dies at Age of 49

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“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. ” — Stuart Scott

ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 49.

Stuart Scott, a charismatic and legendary anchor on ESPN’s  SportsCenter, joined the network in 1993 to help launch ESPN2 and later became an anchor on SportsCenter.

In addition to being an anchor on the network’s flagship show, Scott is widely credited for helping herald in ESPN’s popularity and overall success.

Scott was first diagnosed with cancer in November 2007, when his appendix was removed and dealt with recurring bouts of the disease. Scott never revealed what type of cancer he was battling.

Scott was known by many for his unique catchphrases, including “Boo-Yah!” and “as cool as the other side of the pillow.”

“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.”

Scott is survived by his parents, a brother and two sisters, girlfriend Kristin Spodobalski, ex-wife Kim Scott and daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.17.23 AM“The best thing I have ever done, the best thing I will ever do, is be a dad to Taelor and Sydni,” he said last July at the 2014 ESPYS, where he was awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. “I can’t ever give up because I can’t leave my daughters.”

“Taelor and Sydni, I love you guys more than I will ever be able to express.” “You two are my heartbeat. I am standing on this stage here tonight because of you.”

Last year, Scott opened up about his cancer battle during a very inspiring speech at ESPN’s ESPY Awards, where he received the Jimmy V Award:

“Every day I am reminded that our life’s journey is really about the people who touch us…When you die, that 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.”

“So live.” “Live. fight like hell and when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Watch Scott’s ESPYs speech below.

Major professional sports leagues and players also paid tribute to Scott, who was one of ESPN’s most popular personalities.

The NFL, via the NFL Network Twitter page:

Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of friend & colleague Stuart Scott. We will miss him greatly. .”

The MLB:

“All of  extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of  anchor Stuart Scott,” read a tweet posted on its official Twitter page. “We will continue to  in his memory.”

The NBA:

We lost one of the NBA’s most beloved commentators and reporters as well as a friend to so many of us at the NBA. Our deepest condolences to Stuart Scott’s family and colleagues at ESPN.”

WWE, via its WWE Universe Twitter page:

A sad  to ‘s , who passed away from cancer. He changed sports broadcasting forever.”

Rich Eisen, former SportsCenter co-anchor who gave Scott a beautiful tribute on the NFL Network’s Game Day.

President Obama released a statement on Scott’s passing: “I will miss Stuart Scott. Twenty years ago, Stu helped usher in a new way to talk about our favorite teams and the day’s best plays. For much of those twenty years, public service and campaigns have kept me from my family – but wherever I went, I could flip on the TV and Stu and his colleagues on ‘SportsCenter’ were there.”

Scott attended the University of North Carolina and was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Image Credit: Getty Images

  1. January 5, 2015 - Reply

    Stuart Scott was a true innovator. As someone who has watched ESPN for more than twenty years, I have seen how the entire network’s approach to broadcasting changed because of him. His death hits me personally because he was just a few years younger than me, and he has two daughters like me also. I am surprised that the mother of his kids has not been mentioned in any bio of Scott. I hope have they have a loving guardian or home to go to now that he is gone.

    • January 5, 2015 - Reply


      I’ve never watched ESPN. Steve Harvey was taking to Stephen Smith about Stuart Scott and I was surprised to hear that he was practically blind for years and he would memorize his script so he wouldn’t have to stress about the teleprompter. I just thought he was an interesting guy and really loved his daughters.

      • January 5, 2015 - Reply


        I just heard Stephen A. Smith say that today. I always noticed that one of his eyes was lighter than another. I think he could still see, but he was worried about his vision getting worse.

  2. January 5, 2015 - Reply

    Stuart Scott was a strong man and he showed great compassion, strength, intelligence, and creativity in the world. He was an amazing father who loved his two daughters a great deal. He appealed to the youth with his authentic personality. When he was on ESPN, you can tell that he loved his job and his co-workers. He not only advocated athletics, but he believed in building humanity up. He brought people together and another comment should be made too. We know the comment. He was unapologetically black. He was a strong black father and he showed the world that you can be yourself in any format. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters if we love people, if we stand for something positive, and if we help out our neighbors in a constructive, positive fashion.

    RIP Brother Stuart Scott.

  3. January 5, 2015 - Reply

    i didn’t know about him because i am not a sports fan. But i read about his brave fight with cancer and i had so much respect for him. He was so resilient and he just kept going and going until he couldn’t go anymore. May he rest in peace

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