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You Bet Your Life: How I Survived Jim Crow Racism, Hurricane Chasing, and Gambling Hardcover – May 8, 2018
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"The irony of Spencer's heart-wrenching yet courageous story is that he had so little to gain, so much to lose. His is a well-written documentary of a life that started from meager beginnings, grew to one of recognition among the elites, and came tumbling down because of the unconscious, insatiable quest for something that was already there, because it must come from within." (L. Douglas Wilder, former governor of Virginia)
"In Spencer Christian's story, you get to know a man as he learns to know himself. And he is someone worth getting to know." (Gil Gross, network radio news commentator and former news correspondent for the ABC Radio Networks)
"The soothing voice of Spencer Christian, familiar and cheerfully bidding 'Good Morning America' from our television sets at daybreak, now clearly speaks to us from the pages of his compelling book. With heart and humor, he parts the curtain of his life as a beloved TV personality, providing a rare and raw look behind the scenes to witness the addiction that ripped at his family and career. But this is the really upbeat news: it's a good read and a happy ending." (SQire Rushnell, former Vice President, Daytime Television, ABC)
"If you want to know what a moral wakeup call feels like, read this book. Spencer gives us a very transparent self-disclosure about the racial, celebrity, and addiction issues he experienced, and how family, faith, values, and character enabled survival in the darkest times. I know this man to be a man of his word. When he says that he has been there and done that and is now ready to ring some purpose bells, I believe him and support him and hope that many will find courage from his testimony." (Irving R. Stubbs, author and retired Presbyterian minister)
About the Author
Spencer Christian is an Emmy Award-winning reporter best known for his thirteen years on Good Morning America where he covered the national weather reports in addition to traveling throughout the United States and abroad reporting on a wide range of topics. Since January 1999, Spencer Christian has been the weather forecaster on San Francisco’s ABC7 News team. His time in New York spanned twenty-two years, including thirteen at GMA and nine years at WABC-TV, the ABC affiliate where he served as weatherman and sportscaster from 1977 to 1986. Prior to his years in New York, Spencer was the weathercaster in Baltimore from 1975 to 1977, where he also hosted Spencer’s World, a weekly half-hour talk show. A native of Charles City, Virginia, he began his television career in 1971 in Richmond, Virginia, as a news reporter, covering state and local politics, the public school system, and landmark cases in the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals. A veteran of the US Army Reserves with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a minor in journalism from Hampton University, Spencer Christian taught English at the Stony Brook School in Long Island, New York, for one year before launching his television career.
While in Richmond, Christian won the Better Life Award for his reports exposing abuses in Virginia’s nursing homes. In Baltimore, he won an Emmy Award for a special series of reports entitled “Does Anyone Here Speak English?” focusing on declining language skills among America’s youth. Spencer was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in April 1993, and was named Virginian of the Year by the Virginia Press Association in July 1993. A longtime wine enthusiast, Spencer hosted Spencer Christian’s Wine Cellar on HGTV and the Food Network from 1995 to 1999. He continues to be a serious wine enthusiast and visits California’s wine country regularly.
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