MADISON, Wis. -

Madison TV personality and restaurant owner Marsh Shapiro died Wednesday morning after a nearly two-year battle with brain cancer, according to a restaurant manager.

Shapiro opened the Nitty Gritty at West Johnson and Frances Streets in 1968, which has become best known for celebrating birthdays. He sold the downtown location in 2010.

Shapiro began his TV career as the host of a kids’ show on Channel 27 and he later became a sportscaster.

On Madison Mayor Paul Soglin's Facebook page, he wrote that Marsh was "a wonderful father, husband, friend, citizen, sports fan and human being."

Shapiro was 73.

Watch 2009 video of Marsh Shapiro: