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.
"The irony of Spencer's heart-wrenching yet courageous story is that he had so little to gain, so much to lose. His is a well-written documentary of a life that started from meager beginnings, grew to one of recognition among the elites, and came tumbling down because of the unconscious, insatiable quest for something that was already there, because it must come from within."
– L. Douglas Wilder, former governor of Virginia
"In Spencer Christian's story, you get to know a man as he learns to know himself. And he is someone worth getting to know."
– Gil Gross, network radio news commentator and former news correspondent for the ABC Radio Networks
"The soothing voice of Spencer Christian, familiar and cheerfully bidding 'Good Morning America' from our television sets at daybreak, now clearly speaks to us from the pages of his compelling book. With heart and humor, he parts the curtain of his life as a beloved TV personality, providing a rare and raw look behind the scenes to witness the addiction that ripped at his family and career. But this is the really upbeat news: it's a good read and a happy ending."
– SQire Rushnell, former Vice President, Daytime Television, ABC
"If you want to know what a moral wakeup call feels like, read this book. Spencer gives us a very transparent self-disclosure about the racial, celebrity, and addiction issues he experienced, and how family, faith, values, and character enabled survival in the darkest times. I know this man to be a man of his word. When he says that he has been there and done that and is now ready to ring some purpose bells, I believe him and support him and hope that many will find courage from his testimony."
– Irving R. Stubbs, author and retired Presbyterian minister