Born in Chicago, but raised in North Carolina, Stuart Scott played wide receiver and defensive back for the University of North Carolina, before graduating with a degree in speech communication in 1987.
He started out at WPDE-TV in Florence, South Carolina, and worked his way up the ranks to television stations in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, before landing at ESPN in 1993.
Stuart Scott, longtime ESPN personality and network sports analyst, died at the age of 49 following a long and very public fight with cancer.
Scott shared those words at last year’s ESPYs, after accepting the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
After it was revealed in 2007 that he was suffering from a rare form of appendiceal cancer, the SportsCenter mainstay became a beacon of strength and determination for those who suffer from cancer or who’ve watched loved ones suffer. He beat his illness twice, wrote about his battles with the disease, and continued broadcasting even as his health was failing.
Scott’s initial bout with cancer was in 2007. It went into remission, but it resurfaced in 2011; and Scott was able to beat it once again.
In 2013, while battling cancer for the third time, he talked about working out with P90X and playing football with 25-year-olds to keep his body and mind strong in the face of what was becoming an increasingly dire odd.
He told Eric Spitznagel of Men’s Health: “Working out is my way of saying to cancer, ‘You’re trying to invade my body; you’re trying to take me away from my daughters, but I’m stronger than you. And I’m going to hit harder than you.
Scott worked for ESPN for 21 years, becoming one of the network’s most recognizable anchors on SportsCenter and other studio shows.
Scott is survived by his two daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15; his parents, O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott; and his three siblings Stephen Scott, Synthia Kearney, Susan Scott and their families.
His girlfriend, Kristin Spodobalski, was with Stuart and cared for him every step of the way and along with support from his loving family, close friends and colleagues, he went through several surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials to stay strong and ward off cancer for as long as humanly possible.
During his ESPY speech, Scott shared his approach to fighting cancer. “I also realized something else recently,” he said. “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.” Scott not only interviewed most of the world’s top athletes, he interviewed top celebrities, newsmakers, and politicians. Stuart interviewed and played a televised game of one-on-one basketball with President Barack Obama, one of his two interviews with the President, and conducted numerous one-on-one interviews with the likes of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington and President Clinton.