Arthur Black, the beloved CBC Radio host, humour author and long-time columnist for many Canadian newspapers, including The Citizen, died last week at the age of 74.
Black was a contributor to The Citizen’s “Other Views” page for a number of years, before retiring from writing his regular column for a number of weekly newspapers at the end of 2016.
Black’s family shared the news of his passing on Black’s Blog, BasicBlack.com. Black died from pancreatic cancer at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The statement read that Black died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones.
“The family is very grateful for the overwhelming messages of support and good wishes during [Black’s] struggle with pancreatic cancer,” the statement read. “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’s death came only a few months after he, himself, announced that he had been diagnosed with the “Mike Tyson of cancers” on his blog, saying that what he was facing was “not one of the nicer cancers”. In the wake of his diagnosis, Black said he had to cancel a number of speaking engagements, but was struck by the “unremitting kindness” of all he spoke to about his cancer diagnosis.
Black was on CBC Radio for three decades. For nearly 20 years, he hosted the Saturday morning program, Basic Black, until he retired in 2002.
In addition to his work as a columnist for community newspapers all over the country, Black won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour three times, for his books Pitch Black (2006), Black Tie and Tales (2000) and Black in the Saddle Again (1997). His other books included, Looking Blackward, Back to Black and Black by Popular Demand.