Legendary ABC News political journalist Cokie Roberts dies at age 75

Brenda Watkins
September 17, 2019

The veteran reporter succumbed to breast cancer, her family said. She was also a contributor to "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" and ABC's "World News Tonight", among other programs.

ABC News journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts has died at the age of 75, according to reports from ABC News Tuesday, Sept. 17.

She went on to co-anchor ABC's Sunday morning show, This Week, with Sam Donaldson, and was also a regular fill-in anchor for Ted Koppel on Nightline.

Cokie Roberts at National Archives Foundation Gala on October 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.

ABC News president James Goldston sent a note to staffers Tuesday announcing that Roberts passed away, calling her a "true pioneer for women in journalism".

NPR's Steve Inskeep said "She was an insightful voice on the air, and a leader behind the scenes, at both @NPR and @abcnews".

A terrifically talented writer and historian, Cokie published six books, many of them best-sellers and most about women in American history, whose stories often had been overlooked.

I'm writing with very sad news.

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Roberts was one of NPR's most recognizable voices and is considered one of a handful of pioneering female journalists - along with Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Susan Stamberg - who helped shape the public broadcaster's sound and culture at a time when few women held prominent roles in journalism.

"I have always cared more about family than my career", she said.

She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and named one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television.

"She liked people on both sides of the aisle and had friends on both sides of the aisle", Will told NPR.

The pair got married under an apple tree in the backyard of her family's home in Bethesda Maryland, and then-President Lyndon B. Johnson and first lady Lady Bird were among the 1,500 guests in attendance.

She is survived by her husband, fellow journalist Steven Roberts, her children, Lee and Rebecca and her six grandchildren.

During a Facebook Q&A in 2013, when asked what was the best part of her career, she said that her family has been "by far the best part" of her life. Additional details were not immediately available. "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", Goldston wrote.

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