Published: Tue, September 17, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Cokie Roberts, broadcast journalism legend, dies at 75

Cokie Roberts, broadcast journalism legend, dies at 75

Cokie Roberts, the ABC News and NPR journalist whose death from breast cancer was announced by ABC News today, is being remembered as a top-rank reporter, a pioneer for women in media and one of broadcast news' savviest Beltway analysts.

Goldston hailed Roberts as a "true pioneer for women in journalism", noting her "storied career" which included work for CBS, NPR and ABC News.

Roberts' father was Thomas Hale Boggs Sr., a former Democratic majority leader of the House, who served in Congress for more than three decades before he disappeared on a campaign flight in Alaska in 1972.

Roberts - a pioneering female journalist, victor of three Emmys and bestselling author - began her career in TV and radio, joining ABC News in 1988 as a political correspondent for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

She also published six books, many of them best-sellers.

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Roberts started out at ABC as chief congressional analyst for This Week with David Brinkley and later became an anchor alongside Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002.

Roberts was 75 and had previously survived a bout with breast cancer after originally being diagnosed in 2002. She won three Emmy Awards and contributed to two of the three major US networks, as well as PBS and National Public Radio. "Cokie's kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists". Cokie was named one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television, and the Library of Congress declared her a "Living Legend" in 2008, making her one of the very few Americans ever honored.

"Cokie Roberts will be dearly missed", James Goldston, president of ABC News said in a statement. "But her values put family and relationships above all else".

In interviews, Roberts often said she might have run for public office herself but thought she would spare her journalist husband the difficulty of what could be an awkward dynamic. "But I've sort of assuaged my guilt by writing about it and feeling like I'm educating people about the government and how to be good voters and good citizens", Roberts told The Washington Post in March.

Her husband, Steven Roberts, is also a journalist and the couple have two children and six grandchildren. "In terms of career, I've been lucky to have many interesting jobs and loved a lot of them".

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