Colon Cancer Claims Veteran Journalist Leroy Sievers

Cancer patients Lance Armstrong and Elizabeth Edwards joined Sievers in a live "town meeting," at Discovery headquarters in Maryland, where the audience was filled with doctors, nurses and many people living with cancer. Just last month, the program was nominated for an Emmy award.

World-Class Journalist

Before Sievers came to ABC News in 1991, he spent nine years at CBS News, where he served as Los Angeles bureau chief and as a producer in the Miami and New York bureaus. From 1978 to 1982, he was an assignment editor for KTVU-TV in Oakland, Calif.

During his years at ABC and CBS, Sievers covered more than a dozen wars, including conflicts in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Rwanda and the Middle East.

But Sievers' work was not limited to war zones.

He produced broadcasts on the British handover of Hong Kong, the investigation and impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, Hurricane Andrew in Miami and Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, the bombing in Oklahoma City, the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and the riots in Los Angeles.

He was especially proud of being part of the team that, in 1996, inaugurated "America in Black and White," Nightline's" series on race relations in America.

Sievers won 12 national news Emmys, two George Foster Peabody Awards, and two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards.

ABCNews President David Westin said of Sievers, "Leroy loomed large -- both figuratively and literally -- at ABC News and in his profession overall. But as large a figure as he cut, it was the size of his heart that made the greatest difference."

After leaving "Nightline," Sievers was a guest lecturer at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California, and traveled to Africa for Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group. After years of covering major disastsers, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Sievers found himself unable to simply watch the events unfold on television. So he volunteered with the Red Cross and spent weeks delivering food and aid in Louisiana.

Cancer Battle Comes to an End

Sievers grew up outside Los Angeles, where he was a competitive student athlete in wrestling and volleyball.

His 6'5'' build made him an intimidating physical presence, a quality that served him well in any number of dangerous and tense situations covering wars. But his booming belly laugh was his calling card in every newsroom in which he worked.

Sievers went east to attend Princeton, but ultimately chose to return to the West Coast and complete his undergraduate studies at Berkeley.

At Cal, he was bitten by the journalism bug while working at the college radio station.

Sievers and his wife, NBC News producer Laurie Singer, spent more than 20 years together, each traveling the globe to cover the news -- and returning again and again to their favorite vacation spots in Hawaii.

Despite the success of the blog, the satisfaction of the virtual community it created and the genuine friendships he made with his doctors and nurses at Johns Hopkins where he was treated, Sievers kept his characteristically blunt point of view on display at his home.

For months he kept an extra large T-shirt draped over a chair in his home, for all visitors to see. It says, simply: Cancer Sucks.

Leroy Sievers' family has asked that any contributions in his memory be made to:

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