After battling cancer over the last seven years, ESPN personality Stuart Scott passed away this morning at age 49.
Scott joined ESPN in 1993 to help launch their new ESPN 2 network. Scott’s style—while at times divisive with his silly catch phrases and over-the-top delivery—changed the way SportsCenter was made and solidified him as the most iconic personality at the network in the early 2000s. "Cool as the other side of the pillow," "boo-ya," and many of Scott's other favorite terms always inspired a reaction out of people, and even if you didn't like it you at least had to respect the way Scott took the simple reading of highlights and added his own unique spin to it. He even inspired a Saturday Night Live sketch:
The idea of bringing an element of hip hop, urban culture to mainstream television was basically foreign before Scott joined ESPN, and will be one of his most enduring professional legacies. He was a unique personality on camera who by all accounts was an even better person off of it, as the mountains of tributes flooding in this morning will attest:
Even President Obama has issued a statement expressing his condolences:
Scott bravely battled through three bouts of cancer, which was first discovered during an emergency appendectomy in 2007. In his gracious acceptance speech at the 2014 ESPYs this July where he accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, Scott said that “When you die, it 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”:
Scott is survived by his two daughters, whom he always cited as his inspiration for living both before and during his illness. He interviewed everyone from the world’s greatest athletes to presidents, and will forever be missed.