Charles Sabine in Cape Town, 2009
20 April 1960 |
Rinteln, West Germany
Charles Sabine (born 20 April 1960, British Army Battalion HQ, Rinteln, West Germany), is a television journalist who worked for NBC News for 26 years, before becoming a spokesman for patients and families suffering from degenerative brain disease.
Early life and Career
Sabine was educated at Brentwood School, England, then obtained a first class honours degree in Media Studies from Westminster University, where he was tutored by BBC Radio Producer Charles Parker.
He joined NBC in 1982 in London, and became a producer on the “Today” show in New York in 1987.
Sabine has written for British newspapers, including The Independent and Daily Mail, and has appeared regularly as a pundit on newspaper reviews and TV journalism. As a producer and correspondent for NBC, Sabine covered most of the news events of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia from 1982 to 2005. (Among them: Iraq, Israel, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Syria, Lebanon, Haiti, South Africa, Rwanda, Zaire, the Soviet Union, Iran, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland, Thailand, Pakistan and India.)
In 2008, Sabine became an advocate for freedom of scientific research, and the victims of degenerative brain illnesses: in particular, Huntington's disease, from which his family suffers.
He has spoken on these subjects at the European and British parliaments, The World Congress on Freedom of Scientific Research, and the Royal Institution in London. Sabine contributed to the drafting of the late Senator Edward Kennedy's last act of legislation—the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA"), designed to protect the rights of individuals with genetic presdispositions in the American workplace and in insurance.
Sabine was an active lobbyist in the successful implementation of the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. The 50th Anniversary of Canada's Gairdner Foundation in 2009, attended by 22 Nobel Laureates, was marked by a debate between Sabine and Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner about the future of personalised genomics. In 2009 he was the star guest at the Italian National Telethon, for which a film about him was produced by RAI cinema.
Sabine is a spokesperson for Huntington's disease lay associations around the world, among them:
- USA: Huntington's Disease Society of America
- UK: Huntington's Disease Association
- Canada: Huntington Society of Canada
- Pan Europe: European Huntington's Disease Network
On June 30, 2010, more than a year of campaigning and fundraising in partnership with Sir Michael Rawlins culminated in the launch of an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Huntington’s disease in the UK Parliament. Chaired by Lord Walton of Detchant and supported by more than 40 MPs and Lords, the purpose of the Group is to raise the profile of Huntington’s disease and establish a better methodology for estimating its prevalence, and thus lead to allocation of more appropriate resources for care and research.
Sabine is married to his former producer, Nicole Bakshi, with whom he has a daughter, Sabrina (nicknamed 'Breezy'), born 2008, and a son, Roman, born 2010. They live in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England.
- “Hype, Hope and Hybrids; Science, policy and perspectives of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.” (2009)
- "Charles Sabine - Nightly News". NBC website.
- A song by James K Wright inspired by and featuring excerpts of Charles Sabine's inspiring speech about Huntington's disease
- Profile of Charles Sabine at NBC Nightly News
- National Public Radio (NPR) article on Sabine and Huntington's disease
- Video footage of Sabine speaking about Huntington's disease
- Interview with Sabine on 'Fear, Hope and Dignity'
- Documentary 'The Inheritance' includes interview with Charles Sabine