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CNN's first sports anchor dies at 64

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SANTA FE, N.M.

Nick Charles, the first sports anchor at CNN, died Saturday after a two-year battle with bladder cancer, the cable network announced. He was 64.

Charles died peacefully at his home in New Mexico, his wife Cory, said.

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Charles worked at local television stations in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore before joining CNN for its launch on June 1, 1980. Later that same year he joined Fred Hickman to co-anchor CNN's long-running show "Sports Tonight."

He was one of the few television personalities to be honored with his own Topps trading card.

"Nick was your friend from the moment you met him — and he stayed your friend forever," said Rick Davis, CNN's executive vice president of News Standards and Practices, who worked with Charles as a producer in the 1980s. "All of us who had the very good fortune to have been his friend have so much to remember about how he touched our lives in his own special way."

"His passing is a loss to CNN, to the sports world and to the fans and friends everywhere who were with him to the end of his extraordinary life," said CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton.

Boxing great Mike Tyson, writing Saturday on Twitter, said, "Mourning the loss of a true warrior. My friend & brother, Nick Charles."

Charles is survived by his wife of 13 years, their daughter, Giovanna, and three children from two previous marriages.

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