Stuart Scott was a General Assignment News Reporter at WRAL-TV who went on to stardom as one of ESPN’s most popular and influential sports anchors.
Scott got his start in broadcasting at WPDE-TV in Florence, SC, where worked as a news reporter and weekend sports anchor. He joined that station in 1987 following his graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC Scott earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and Radio, Television and Motion Pictures and was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
In 1988, Scott came to WRAL for a two-year stint in the Channel 5 newsroom. Although he reported news stories in Raleigh, his long-term goal was a career in sports.
In 1990, he headed south to Florida for a sports reporting position at WESH-TV in Orlando. It was there that Scott was noticed by the growing ESPN organization, and in 1993 he joined the network for the launch of ESPN2.
Scott quickly found a loyal following and his role and visibility on ESPN’s studio shows exploded. His unique anchor style and vocabulary, including his patented catch-phrase “Boo-yow,” made him one of ESPN’s most popular and recognizable personalities.
At ESPN Scott’s primary roles were on Sportscenter and the network’s NBA and NFL programming. Over the course of his career he interviewed top professional athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods along with Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
In late 2007 it was revealed that Scott had been diagnosed with cancer. The disease went into remission, but recurred several additional times during the next seven years. Scott fought back each time, returning to the ESPN set as an inspiration to a nationwide audience.
In July 2014 Scott was honored with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. In accepting the award, he told the ESPY audience that “when you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”
On January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott died at the age of 49. He is survived by his daughters Taelor and Sydni.
Following his death, the UNC Department of Athletics released the following statement:
Our hearts go out to Stuart Scott’s family and friends, including his daughters Taelor and Sydni, and his colleagues at ESPN. He loved his home state and his alma mater. Stuart taught us that sports is about joy and laughter, not just achievement and results. More important, he showed us how to fight with dignity and honor. He blazed a path in broadcasting that is often imitated, but never duplicated. His legacy will live on in many ways – as a friend, a son, a father, a professional and forever, a Tar Heel….”