One of the good guys of the news business has lost his battle with bladder cancer. Longtime CNN sportscaster Nick Charles passed away on Saturday at the age of 64.

As an impressionable young sports fan growing up in the 1980s, I knew his face was all over the news, and I saw his news coverage from time to time. I later learned to respect his broad knowledge of sports, his professionalism, his people skills.

Nearly two years ago, I send Mr. Charles an email message, hoping to give him a bit of encouragement as he coped with cancer. His reply (I made sure to save it and re-read it from time to time) encouraged me.

Here’s what he wrote:

Dear Ed,

Words like yours absolutely motivate me. They also validate my life.

Thanks you for touching me with them.

Wish you all the best life has to offer.


I read those words again today as tears spill out of my eyes. In his humble, direct way, Nick reminded me of this: Kindness is a gift that anyone can cherish at any time. We can never run out of time and ways to encourage one another.