Jerrybrice's Blog
The intersection of animation, entertainment, and politics

Black Broadcasting Pioneer Bryant Gumbel Battles Lung Cancer…He’s Winning So Far

Today I woke up to the news that one of my African-American broadcasting heroes, Bryant Gumbel, is recovering from a bought with malignant lung cancer. Gumbel is 61 years young, and his presence in the broadcasting community has had a major impact for several years.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=bryant+gumbel&iid=2901482″ src=”5/1/7/6/2008_UNICEF_Snowflake_5157.jpg?adImageId=8140267&imageId=2901482″ width=”234″ height=”338″ /]

I call him a pioneer, because Bryant broke into the national media at a time when it was not too popular to have a black man in a leading position on the TV news, or even in Sports news, although more likely than not, African-Americans were dominating all of the popular American sports the moment we were allowed to compete against non-black athletes.

USA Today reports that…Gumbel was among the first announcers to cross over from sports to general entertainment. After working as a reporter and studio host for NBC Sports, he became an NBC Today show host. In recent years, he’s returned to TV sports including working as the NFL Network’s first play-by-play game announcer although he hadn’t previously called football games…

Bryant Gumbel defeated all of his competition to rise to the esteemed position as lead Host on the ”Today” show, on the NBC television network. He is credited with promoting Katie Couric and for mentoring current ”Today” show host Matt Lauer throughout their careers.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=bryant+gumbel&iid=4513805″ src=”e/2/9/a/ATT_Pebble_Beach_6d58.jpg?adImageId=8140035&imageId=4513805″ width=”234″ height=”157″ /]I continue to follow his career, and enjoy regularly watching his Sports show ”Real Sports” on the HBO cable television network.

It is unclear to me if Bryant was a regular smoker of cigarettes, but he is known to enjoy a celebratory cigar from time to time, but there is no evidence that any of that is the cause of his cancer battle.

One does not have to be a smoker to develop lung cancer, but it is usually at cause for the disease.

Bryant Gumbel announced Tuesday morning that he had cancer surgery two months ago to remove a malignant tumor near his lung. The subject came up during a live taping of the  “Live! with Regis and Kelly,” where Bryant is filling in this week for co-host Regis Philbin,who is undergoing hip replacement surgery, Gumbel brought it up to explain why he could not dance with co-host Kelly Ripa.

Needless to say, Kelly and the audience were stunned. Bryant said that he kept it away from his staff and close relationships, but he did tell his immediate family. The broadcaster is notoriously private.

The former ‘Today’ show anchor says he had a tumor and part of his lung removed two months ago.

He states that  he is seeing his surgeon next week.

“I’m hoping they greenlight me to play golf again,” he said.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=kareem+abdul+jabbar&iid=937851″ src=”8/d/d/e/Dick_Parsons_Hosts_8484.jpg?adImageId=8139837&imageId=937851″ width=”234″ height=”301″ /]I really wish the best of outcomes for Mr. Gumbel, and in light of the recent announcement of basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s cancer announcement, let this be a message to all men, especially black men, that we are more susceptible to these diseases than most, simply because of the fear of visiting the doctor, but mainly many of us are not covered by health insurance, and by the time we do seek medical assistance, it is too late.

Senator Harry Reid was correct to say that the Republican’s are resisting Health care reform much like the Democratic senator’s that were resisting the abolishment of slavery, prior to the Civil War.

They want us to not have health care, so that the majority of us will die off quickly and they are committed to our death from disease.[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=sen.+harry+reid&iid=7016985″ src=”3/f/4/d/Reid_And_Senate_1150.jpg?adImageId=8139882&imageId=7016985″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

I applaud Senator Harry Reid, who is only speaking the truth, to those that already know that they hate us, as much as they loved slavery.

I am glad that Bryant has the financial ability to provide health care to his family and himself,and I encourage all men to go seek the highest level of medical care you are able to receive, even if you have to go to a free clinic.

Your family and future may depend on it.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=bryant+gumbel&iid=7211577″ src=”1/f/c/4/2009_UNICEF_Snowflake_3a1c.jpg?adImageId=8139680&imageId=7211577″ width=”234″ height=”339″ /]


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