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Stuart Scott, the longtime ESPN anchor known for his animated commentary (see: “Boo-yah!”) and masterful use of metaphor (try: “as cool as the other side of the pillow”) died on Sunday. He was 49 years old.

Scott died of cancer, though he never confirmed which type.

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According to USA Today, the Sports commentator joined ESPN more than 20 years ago, and it was here that he brought all of his authentic self to the job:

Says the paper:

Scott joined ESPN in 1993 for the launch of ESPN2, quickly moving up the ranks as one of the network’s main SportsCenter anchors thanks to his rapid-fire delivery and unique phrasing to describe highlights. While Scott might not have invented the term “Boo-yah,” he certainly popularized.

By 2008, Scott was ubiquitous among the network’s programming. He anchored late-night SportsCenter shows, hosted Monday Night Countdown on location during the NFL season, served as the lead host for NBA on ESPN and ABC and interviewed Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Scott was first diagnosed with cancer after an emergency appendectomy in 2007. The disease reappeared in 2011, when Scott announced he was undergoing chemotherapy via Twitter.

Scott has already had a public health bout. In 2002, he missed several months of work after his left eye was damaged by a football while working with the New York Jets for a story. He’d already had issues with his eyes including a detached retina, and so Scott had to retrain his right eye to be his dominant eye, a task that presented a challenge when having to read from a teleprompter, says USA Today.

The beloved reporter was feted in July with the annual Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2014 ESPY Awards. It was there that he addressed his uncertain future at the time, says USA Today.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott told the audience. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

Scott is survived by his two daughters, Taelor, 19,and Sydni, 14.

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