Longtime CBC Radio Host Arthur Black Loses Fight with Cancer


Host of Basic Black and author of a number of humour collections died Wednesday at age 74 after blogging about his pancreatic cancer.

The late CBC host Arthur Black’s book Black & White And Read All Over.  (VIA AMAZON.COM)

SALT SPRING ISLAND, B.C.—Beloved Canadian broadcaster and humorist Arthur Black has died at age 74.

A statement on his website says the former CBC Radio host died Wednesday at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island, B.C., after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Black spent 30 years at the CBC, where he hosted the Saturday morning radio program Basic Black for nearly two decades until his retirement in 2002.

He also had a syndicated newspaper column and won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour three times.

Black won the 2006 medal for his book Pitch Black, took the prize in 2000 for Black Tie and Tales, and won in 1997 for Black in the Saddle Again.

His other books include Looking BlackwardBack to Black and Black by Popular Demand.

“The family is very grateful for the overwhelming messages of support and good wishes received during his struggle with pancreatic cancer,” says a statement on his site.

“It will come as no surprise to those who have been fans of Arthur’s work that he faced it all with his own unique combination of defiance and good humour.”

Black used wit and candour as he wrote on his blog about his battle with late-stage pancreatic cancer, calling it “the Mike Tyson of cancers.”

“Hardly seems fair that PanCan bellies up to the bar next to me, spoiling for a brawl,” reads one entry.

“I’m a clean-living lad, 74 years young, non-drinker, non-smoker. I eat an annoyingly healthy diet and I have a partner Lynne, who holds it all together and makes our world go ‘round in every way.



  1. RIP Mr. Black

    I recall fondly listening to Back In Black, Saturday mornings on CBC Radio One back in the 90’s. Mr. Black was entertaining to listen to while working in my office Saturday mornings.

  2. RIP Arthur Black. Was it only last month that he made his diagnosis public? I regret never sending him an email, as the way in which he approached his diagnosis and impending death was very similar to my own father’s journey with the same disease. I met Arthur very briefly at a 1996 CBC Vancouver Open House. I was trying to track down any material from Canadian comic group Radio Free Vestibule, and two weeks later he sent me a CD of their’s in the mail! Les H., I believe the Saturday morning show was called Basic Black; a truly eclectic and humourous 1.5 hours of radio.


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