Cokie Roberts, ABC News political commentator, has died at 75. She suffered from complications related to breast cancer.
James Goldston, ABC News president, referred to Roberts as “an exceptional reporter and remarkable friend.”
Roberts was born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on Dec. 27, 1943. Both of her parents served in Congress. She got her start in radio as a foreign correspondent for CBS, before moving to NPR to cover Capitol Hill in 1978. She was a contributor to This Week With David Brinkley on ABC and was ABC’s chief congressional analyst. She co-anchored This Week with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002.
Roberts authored eight books, many of them about women in history.
She was inducted into the B&C Hall of Fame in 2000.
“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,” said Goldston.
Roberts and husband Steven Roberts, a journalist, had two children and six grandchildren.
She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.
She was asked about career highlights in 2013. "I’ve been blessed in my life with been a long and happy marriage that produced two wonderful children who have in turn each produced three spectacular grandchildren and that is by far the best part,” said Roberts. “In terms of career, I’ve been lucky to have many interesting jobs and loved most of them. The ability to develop expertise and then be able to use that knowledge in broadcasting is gratifying. And I find writing books particularly satisfying.”
“We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness,” said her family in a statement.
Roberts, also a longtime contributor to public broadcasting, received the 1990 Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for contributions to public radio.
"Cokie was a tenacious journalist and generous friend and mentor to so many, especially women in the newsroom. Whether she was offering advice on a story or how to balance family and work-life, Cokie was always someone who you could count on," said Sarah Just, executive producer of PBS NewsHour.
"Cokie Roberts was an exceptional journalist who reported with grace, integrity and an abiding commitment to civil discourse," said PBS President Paula Kerger. "A longtime contributor to public broadcasting, she helped to blaze a trail for women in our field, and her extraordinary legacy will continue to live on in newsrooms, studios and classrooms. She will be deeply missed."
"The Corporation for Public Broadcasting mourns the passing of Cokie Roberts, a broadcasting legend and respected figure in American journalism," CPB President Pat Harrison said. "Cokie was a formative voice in the early years of NPR, when few women held high-profile positions in national journalism. For a decade, as NPR’s Congressional correspondent, she offered fair, insightful coverage of the inner workings of Congress. Even after moving to ABC News, Cokie remained part of the public media family by contributing to NPR as a political commentator for decades."
John Eggerton contributed to this report.