The last time Charles Krauthammer and I had an on-air conversation on my morning show, I asked him who'd win the chess game if he and President Obama faced each other. Without hesitation he chuckled, "There'd be no contest, whatsoever." I cracked up, too! It was an amusing way to cap off a chat that was supposed to last no more than 12 minutes, and stretched to nearly the entire hour.

Unsmiling and long faced, I read the witty and brilliant Fox News Channel personality, in a sobering farewell, has a very short time to live due to a malignant tumor that was removed from his abdomen last year but returned with a vengeance recently. To me, the news was agonizing.

Having spoken with Dr. Krauthammer over the years, and having read some of his books, I admired his unblinking search for truth. Eloquent and with a remarkable skill set to analyze politics and politicians, whether you agreed or disagreed with his thoughts, the Pulitzer Prize winning examiner made you think.

Dr. Krauthammer graduated from Harvard Medical School with a Doctorate of Medicine, after which he became the chief psychiatry resident at Mass General Hospital, where he studied depression and published cutting-edge findings in leading journals. He also has liberal connections, taking a job in 1978 in the Carter administration and later serving as a speech writer for Vice President Walter Mondale.

Despite a first-year college diving accident that left him a quadriplegic, and a series of physical setbacks that have confined him to a wheelchair ever since, I've found the most inspirational people, like Charles Krauthammer, to be those who've known downfall, known misfortune, known struggle and have worked their way out of the severity.

He wrote, "This is the final verdict. My fight is over." He said leaves this life with no regrets. "It was a wonderful life - full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended."

Checkmate.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.