Charlie Austin was a time-honored humanitarian and a friend. He broke the color barrier in Boston television in 1968 and for 32 years was a trailblazer, becoming one of the most renowned television reporters.

Charlie was a frequent drop-in guest on my national radio show. He'd pop in and open with, "Hey Phil, how's your prostate?" I'm serious, that was Charlie's salutation!

Throughout his life, a host of medical problems plagued him, but he fought through them all, including prostate cancer. He had all the stats down: prostate cancer will strike one in 9 American men, and black and Hispanic men are 1.6 times more frequently stricken and 2.5 times more likely to die.

If there was a chance to pitch anything from your personal check up to forums, Charlie was on top of it. For instance, here in Bristol County, prostate cancer in white men is less lethal versus the Massachusetts average, but in black men, it's 51 percent more lethal. Black men are 4.1 times more likely to die of prostate cancer than white men. This disparity is almost twice as high as the Massachusetts average at 2.2.

So, in Charlie's honor, I'd like to spread the word about the Prostate Cancer Forum on February 20 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum for a complimentary dinner and discussion from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Please RSVP to Marci Pina-Christian at (508) 979-1464 by February 7. Seating is limited.

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 and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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