We are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Charlie Cain. He was a truly valuable member of the Truscott Rossman team and he will be sorely missed by all of us.
Charlie spent most of his career as a respected journalist. He covered the movers and shakers at the state Capitol and built a reputation for being tough but fair and very thorough. He was truly one of the best. As a member of the the Truscott Rossman team, we came to love Charlie for his dry wit, funny comments and heartfelt kindness. We even had a quote board with "Charlie-isms" because he would rattle off so many funny sayings (sometimes unintentionally) - we just had to keep track of them.
Our hearts are filled with sadness and our eyes with tears as we remember Charlie. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family - and to his broader "family" around Lansing and Michigan.
- John Truscott
I knew and admired Charlie over a long time as a highly respected journalist and friend. He was a beacon of excellence in journalism. He was tough but fair in his coverage of politics, which is not surprising since he came from such a talented and distinguished family of journalists.
- Gov. William G. Milliken
Charlie was a good friend and I worked with him for 30 years. I'll always remember he once said to me in my office when I pushed him to write something, "remember my job is not to make you look good" (meaning I'm not your PR man), "but cover you as a journalist." After that I trusted Charlie completely. He was a star in Lansing and in Michigan journalism and a loyal Spartan. We all miss him already.
- Gov. James Blanchard
Late last year I had two occasions to see Charlie. He and his former colleague Mark Hornbeck joined me for a private coffee in my ceremonial office and again at the Capital Press Corps dinner in my honor. Charlie was among the finest reporters I encountered during my time in Lansing. His brand of journalism -- fair, objective and accurate -- was something to be admired. As a political figure I was always willing to take his call because he wanted to get it right and he always did. I extend my sympathy to his entire family.
- Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm
I think there must be a great story in heaven for Charlie to cover – no doubt [former Speaker of the House] Bill Ryan is involved. We have lost a great friend, a legislative historian and a great journalist. Our sympathies to his family.
- former Speaker of the House Bobby Crim
It was a privilege to know Charlie Cain. There are more stories about Charlie than space permits but suffice to say he was a great guy. He’d call to get this or that for a news story but then there was the conversation, the off-the-record chat about what was happening in Lansing. There wasn’t much that could surprise Charlie but I will never forget his reaction to the news we planned to end funding for the State Fair in Detroit because of the budget. He was simply astonished. I recall him saying something to the effect: ‘This is big - there are people that got their first kiss at the State Fair.’ It was just one example of the kind of guy he was: a tough, smart journalist who had a soft heart. I liked him so much and my heart goes out to his wonderful family.
- Liz Boyd
(from Nolan Finley's blog post, "Charlie Cain, RIP" - read in full here
Charlie had a rare gift. Reporters aren't always the most popular people. But everybody loved Charlie, even the people he covered.
He was tough, fair and thorough. And funny. John Truscott, who Charlie worked for as a consultant the last couple of years, told me today they kept a white board in the office to write down "Charlie-isms". I hope they never erase it.
A guy like that passes out of your life, and you notice the empty space.
I mourn Charlie, and I mourn that time when we were young and reporters, and there wasn't anything in the world better to be than that.
Charlie Cain ranks as one of my favorite people in this business. He was role model. And he was a major reason I fell so hard in love with newspapers.
His sister, Carol Cain of the Free Press, e-mailed me to say of the family, "our hearts are broken." Mine too. And I suspect a lot of others.
- Nolan Finley
Charlie meant so much to us.
He was a guardian angel who showed up in the one of those dry times during the Senator's first campaign for State Representative in 2006. Charlie sent for a photo journalist from Toledo, OH in order for Coleman to receive media attention.
Charlie was our oasis in the middle of a desert.
During that interview, Coleman said for the first time that he would win, because he had "the hand of God" on him. As a family we had insisted that he give God credit. It was that article that we know provided the victory turn.
We know how much we owe Charlie Cain. He called Coleman and talked to him about knowing his father, Mayor Young, and shared stories with him. He breathed life into a tired young politician and filled him with words of encouragement.
As a family, we are forever grateful that Charlie was willing to go out of the way to help someone he didn't know, but would give a chance. In time, Charlie would call and talk to him about other guy stuff. I don't know what, but I always appreciated it.
Our hearts are broken with his loss.
We pray for his family and friends that they are know they are blessed, as are we, for knowing him.
- Annivory Calvert
So sorry to hear about Charlie.
I worked on the advertising side of the State News, but knew Charlie very well. This was back in the late 60's - early 70's and at a time of campus (and world) upheaval.
We knew Charlie was going to succeed in journalism (or anything he put his mind to, for that matter). He was incisive, aggressive in his pursuit of the truth, and highly objective. I remember him as someone with a very quick wit and who was fun to hang out with. I rarely debated with him because I knew I would lose. He will be missed.
- Jim Signorelli