Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts died Sept. 17 due to complications from breast cancer, ABC News President James Goldston confirmed in a statement. Roberts was 75 and had previously survived a bout with breast cancer after originally being diagnosed in 2002.
Goldston hailed Roberts as a “true pioneer for women in journalism,” noting her “storied career” which included work for CBS, NPR and ABC News. Among her career highlights is her work as co-anchor of This Week with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002, continuing on as a regular panelist under the Sunday morning news program’s current iteration hosted by George Stephanopoulos.
Born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs to Lindy and Hale Boggs — both of whom served in Congress — Roberts was also an accomplished author, publishing six books as well as teaming up with husband and fellow journalist Steve Roberts to write a weekly syndicated newspaper column. The couple were parents to two children, Lee and Rebecca, and had six grandchildren.
“She will be dearly missed,” Goldston wrote. “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. Please take a moment today to remember an exceptional reporter and remarkable friend.”
The statement included a message from Roberts’s family, who called her “first and foremost a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin and friend.”
“Cokie’s career as a journalist at National Public Radio and ABC News took her to the heights of her profession, and her success as an author on history and family put her on the bestseller list,” her loved ones wrote. “But her values put family and relationships above all else.”
They continued, “We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness.”
The journalism community is now sharing tributes to Roberts. Speaking on Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos called her a “fixture” and “pioneer.” Donaldson also discussed her New Orleans roots in a video memorial for ABC News.
.@GStephanopoulos on his late friend and colleague Cokie Roberts: "I was thinking how much I missed her just last Thursday at the debate...she was a fixture. She was a pioneer." https://t.co/q8uu3GAUe4 pic.twitter.com/IoSnn3SEjg— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 17, 2019
My friend, my colleague, my hero Cokie Roberts has died.— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) September 17, 2019
Brilliant. Brave. Kind. Hilarious. A fierce patriot.
And one of the best human beings I have ever known. pic.twitter.com/nZfUBaf2OE
Mourning the passing of legendary @ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts, who passed away at the age of 75. She was a true pioneer of the business, and a revered colleague.— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) September 17, 2019
RIP Cokie Roberts, mentor, friend and one of my favorite people in the world.— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) September 17, 2019
Cokie attended 22 national political conventions — that may be a record — I had the privilege of interviewing her on the floor of her last convention. pic.twitter.com/C2ulOSya7f
So sorry to hear this news. Cokie was a fine person, even nicer in private than in public (though not without an acerbic wit when appropriate!). Condolences to Steve and the family. https://t.co/04Ad9QLeWZ— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) September 17, 2019
RIP Cokie Roberts. You made us all better. Your brilliant mind, your sharp wit - and above all, your kind heart. pic.twitter.com/bu9wzFi9gb— David Muir (@DavidMuir) September 17, 2019
Political leaders are also honoring Roberts, with former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush issuing statements alongside Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
NEW: Former Pres. George W. Bush, Laura Bush on Cokie Roberts: "She covered us for decades as a talented, tough, and fair reporter. We respected her drive and appreciated her humor. She became a friend." https://t.co/v9bOBAllDM pic.twitter.com/IaxVd7HdsQ— ABC News (@ABC) September 17, 2019
NEW: Former Pres. Barack Obama calls Cokie Roberts "a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men."— ABC News (@ABC) September 17, 2019
"She will be missed." https://t.co/v9bOBAllDM pic.twitter.com/E4eCTrxmJ8
NEW: Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "Cokie Roberts was a trailblazer who forever transformed the role of women in the newsroom and in our history books...inspiring countless young women and girls to follow in her groundbreaking footsteps.” https://t.co/v9bOBAllDM pic.twitter.com/yxSw1gpDIV— ABC News (@ABC) September 17, 2019
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