You Bet Your Life: How I Survived Jim Crow Racism, Hurricane Chasing, and Gambling

You Bet Your Life: How I Survived Jim Crow Racism, Hurricane Chasing, and Gambling

by Spencer Christian


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The inspiring true story of a popular national broadcaster who thought he had it all—until he lost it.

Growing up poor and black in the rigidly segregated South, Spencer Christian relied on his family’s solid work ethic, commitment to education, and Christian faith to carve a path to success and national visibility. As weatherman and co-host for ABC’s Good Morning America, he thought he had everything—a loving wife and children, a beautiful home, and a rewarding and remarkable career.

Yet, he was living a double life. For nearly 30 years, he was a compulsive gambler. By the time he found the courage to confront his dependence, he had lost millions, his home, his job—and most important—his family.

You Bet Your Life tells the roller-coaster story of Christian’s rise to success and crash to rock bottom. It also details his rebounding, rebuilding, and recovering of hope and happiness. This gripping and transparent tale will amuse, shock, and inspire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682616390
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 05/08/2018
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 474,676
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

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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You Bet Your Life: How I Survived Jim Crow Racism, Hurricane Chasing, and Gambling 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
samsinger More than 1 year ago
Spencer Christian is one of America's most beloved television weathermen and personalities. From ABC’s Good Morning America to the ABC Disney San Francisco Affiliate KGO TV Channel 7, he is one of the most successful weather anchors in television history. He exudes charm, honesty, self-confidence. His story in “You Bet Your Life” shows the behind-the-scenes, roller-coaster story of his rise to success and crash to rock bottom because of his addiction to gambling. The book details his rebound, rebuilding, and recovery of his hope and happiness, both for himself and his family. This gripping and transparent story is a must read for anyone who wants to learn about beating addiction, beating racial discrimination, the will to succeed, love, humor, and helping others beat their own addictions and demons. Don't miss this gripping book by one of America's most charming and honest television idols.
S_BT More than 1 year ago
This was a compelling read, a page turner. In this heartfelt story, Spencer Christian ends up covering multiple topics at once: rising above hostile racism in Jim Crow Virginia through strong family support, an insight into the exciting world of celebrity and privilege, but also underscoring the point that *everyone* wrestles with major challenges, even those we figure are above it all with their status and prestige. As he makes clear, that's definitely not so, especially when coping with something as serious as a gambling addiction. He helps you understand why it can get addictive, what keeps people addicted (hope for the big win before stopping), and then the spiritual shift that finally put an end to his gambling days. While he underscores that it's not intended a guide for ending gambling additions, Spencer's story can give hope to anyone struggling to beat a destructive habit. And for those who aren't, it's a wonderful insight into human nature, and an inspiring tale of recovery.