Cake Boss' Sal Picinich dies of cancer

Feb 2, 2011 at 9:31 a.m. ET

Sal Picinich, baker and one of the stars of TLC's hit show Cake Boss, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 63.

Sal Picinich Cake BossCake Boss star Sal Picinich has lost his battle with cancer at the age of 63.

Picinich, a Croatian immigrant, worked at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, NJ for over four decades and became a "second father" to series star Buddy Valastro after his own father's death when he was just a teen, according to the baker's rep.

"TLC was saddened to learn of the passing of Sal Picinich, a beloved Carlo's Bakery employee featured on Cake Boss," the network said in an official statement. "We join Buddy Valastro and the entire Carlo's crew in sending Sal's family our sincerest condolences."

Picinich is survived by two children, Danielle and Salvatore, as well as two brothers, two sisters and two grandchildren. His funeral will be held later this week in East Rutherford, NJ.

This is the second shocking development in the Cake Boss world within six months. In August, Valastro's brother-in-law Remy Gonzalez was charged with sexually assaulting a minor.

A tribute to the beloved baker aired at the end of Monday's season four premiere of Cake Boss.