Former Detroit TV anchor Rich Fisher dies

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Former longtime Detroit TV anchor and reporter Rich Fisher has died.

Fisher, a native Detroiter, died Friday morning at Beaumont Hospital after a lengthy battle with cancer of the esophagus. He was 67. Fisher was a Detroit media fixture and Emmy-winning news anchor, who spent seven years at FOX 2 before resigning in 1997.

"Rich had the ability to cut to the chase, to get the point of the heart of the matter in delivering the news, especially in interviewing. He had a great ability to bring out the truth, sometimes from people who didn't want to admit it. He cared deeply about Detroit and the entire community," says FOX 2's Huel Perkins. "Frankly, he was not only my friend, I considered him my big brother. He was a mentor to me. You see a part of him in everything I do, even now."

Fisher came to WJBK from WXYZ-TV where he was an anchor and reporter for twelve years. Fisher also spent five years at WJRT in Flint before moving to WXYZ.

Fisher began his career in 1968 at WATZ-AM/FM in Alpena. Among Fisher's awards was the 1993 Michigan Associated Press Award for individual reporting for Toxic Threat, an investigative report on chemical pollution and a 1986 national award from the American Bar Association for his series on Michigan's jury system.

GALLERY: CLICK HERE for Rich Fisher's life in photos

At the time of his resignation, he released the statement:

"When I came to WJBK in 1990, the station had undergone two ownership changes, and its image was suffering.  I am proud to say that I became part of its growth and development which is continuing under FOX.

"However, anchoring the early and late evening news at least five days per week leaves precious little time to spend with my wife and four children. With the most recent changes in ownership and management at FOX 2, I felt that this would be a good time to take a break, spend more time with my family and get in closer touch with the people and concerns of the community.

"I am grateful that this station is allowing me to leave and providing me with that chance to spend some valuable time with my family. This will also enable me to take a good look at how my personal goals fit in with the future of local TV."