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ESPN's Stuart Scott dies after lengthy battle with cancer

ESPN's Stuart Scott dies after battle with cancer; he was 49

Longtime ESPN anchor Stuart Scott died Sunday after a battle with cancer, the network announced. He was 49.

Scott, who worked as an anchor for ESPN and ABC Sports for 21 years, was one of the most recognizable figures on sports television. He was known for his emphatic delivery style and signature catchphrases such as "boo-ya" and "as cool as the other side of the pillow" when describing plays during highlights.

"ESPN and everyone in the sports world have lost a true friend and a uniquely inspirational figure in Stuart Scott," ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. "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 was diagnosed with cancer in November 2007 and dealt with recurring bouts against the disease. While accepting an award for perseverance at the ESPYs in July, Scott talked about dealing with cancer: "I also realized something else recently. I said, 'I'm not losing. I'm still here. I'm fighting. I'm not losing.' But I’ve got to amend that. When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live. So live. Live. Fight like hell."

President Obama, who once played in a televised one-on-one basketball game with Scott as part of an interview, shared his memories of Scott and offered his condolences.

"I will miss Stuart Scott," Obama said in a statement. "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.  Over the years, he entertained us, and in the end, he inspired us – with courage and love. Michelle and I offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues."

Scott began working on ESPN SportsCenter in 1993, anchoring the program's 11 p.m. ET slot. Later, he saw expanded roles anchoring the network's NFL and NBA coverage. He covered several major sporting events for ESPN, including the NBA Finals, Super Bowl, World Series and the NCAA men's basketball Final Four. 

Born in Chicago, Scott worked at local television stations in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina before joining ESPN. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1987.

He is survived by his daughters, Taelor and Sydni; parents O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott and girlfriend Kristin Spodobalski.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

10:30 a.m.: This post has been updated with reaction from President Obama.

The original version of this post was published at 7:34 a.m.

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