NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Stuart Scott was the sports broadcaster that an entire generation of aspiring broadcasters wanted to be.
On Sunday, the veteran ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor died after a years-long battle with cancer, the network said Sunday. He was 49.
Scott spent the last 21 years on the air for ESPN, and his anchoring included coverage of NFL and NBA games.
His first diagnosis of stomach cancer came in November 2007, and ESPN said Scott “went through several surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials to stay strong and ward off cancer for as long as humanly possible.”
Despite the cancer, he was resilient.
“Here’s what I do right (after) chemo. Leave the infusion center & go STRAIGHT 2 either do a p90x wkout or train MMA..THATS how you #LIVESTRONG,” he posted online in January when he received a third diagnosis.
In November, Scott responded to rumors that he was in hospice: “Not True. Airball. Swing & a miss.”
Beloved as an anchor, colleague and father
Scott was remembered as a dedicated family man. He called his two daughters “my heartbeat.”
In September, he was in the hospital when his youngest started in her first high school varsity soccer game.
“I DIDNT miss it,” he posted online. “A friend I love … FACETIMED me all game. Saw my daughtrs 3-goal “HATRICK” in a 3-1 win. I was cryin & yelling so … Loud, nurses came in worried.”
On Sunday morning there was an immediate outpouring of love and grief from Scott’s longtime colleagues.
ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote on Twitter that he was heartbroken: Scott “lived with such panache. He battled his disease with such dignity. Unforgettable man.”
Afternoon “SportsCenter” host Linda Cohn wrote, “I can’t believe he is gone. There was nobody like Stuart Scott, There will never be again. A big presence with even a bigger heart.”
And ESPN President John Skipper praised Scott for “energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work” throughout the ordeal.
Scott was remembered in an ESPN.com obituary as someone who “changed everything.”
Stuart Scott, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died Sunday morning at the age of 49.
Among the features of the new ESPN studio in Bristol is a wall of catchphrases made famous by on-air talent over the years. An amazing nine of them belong to one man — from his signature “Boo-Yah!” to “As cool as the other side of the pillow” to “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.”
That man is Stuart Scott, and his contributions to the sports lexicon are writ large. But they are only one aspect of his legacy. When he passed away, he left behind so much more. He inspired his colleagues with his sheer talent, his work ethic and his devotion to his daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15. He defied convention and criticism to help bring this network into a new century. He spoke to the very athletes he was talking about with a flair and a style that ESPN President John Skipper says, “changed everything.”
In 2014, ESPN honored Scott with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
“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 live,” Scott said during his emotional speech. “So live, live, fight like hell.”