BETHESDA, MD — Cokie Roberts, a renowned journalist and political commentator, has died at the age of 75. She died on Tuesday due to complications from breast cancer, ABC News announced.
Roberts, born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs, was a trailblazer in the journalism industry for the past 40-plus years — working in both television and radio. A best-selling author and three-time Emmy winner, Roberts is credited with paving the way for women in broadcast journalism.
“Our dear friend and colleague Cokie Roberts passed away this morning in Washington, surrounded by her family and closest friends,” ABC News President James Goldston said in a note to employees on Tuesday. “Cokie Roberts will be dearly missed. 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.”
Roberts began her career in radio as a foreign correspondent for CBS in the 1970s, then moved to NPR in 1978 to cover Capitol Hill.
At a time when few women made it as prominent journalists, Roberts worked with journalism greats — like Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer, and Susan Stamberg — and became one of National Public Radio’s most recognizable voices, according to the national broadcaster.
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“[W]e called them the Founding Mothers of NPR, or sometimes we called them the Fallopian Club,” NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson said in an interview with “The Daily Princetonian” in February.
Roberts joined ABC News in 1988 and co-anchored “This Week” with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002. During her three decades at the network, Roberts also served as political commentator and chief congressional analyst for “The Week.”
Reporters, politicians, and U.S. presidents are mourning the death of the legendary journalist and extending their condolences.
“RIP Cokie Roberts. You made us all better. Your brilliant mind, your sharp wit – and above all, your kind heart,” ABC’s David Muir tweeted.
“Michelle and I are sad to hear about the passing of Cokie Roberts,” former President Barack Obama said in a statement. “She was a trailblazing figure; a role model to young women at a time when the profession was still dominated by men; a constant over forty years of a shifting media landscape and changing world, informing voters about the issues of our time and mentoring young journalists every step of the way.”
President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the mainstream media, also issued a statement on Roberts’ passing.
“I never met her. She never treated me nicely,” said Trump, according to a pool report. “But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional and I respect professionals. I respect you guys a lot, you people a lot. She was a real professional.”
Roberts had repeatedly criticized Trump both on and off the campaign trail — even writing in a syndicated column that he was “one of the least qualified candidates ever to make a serious run for the presidency.”
The Bethesda resident is survived by her husband, Steve V. Roberts, her children Rebecca Roberts and Lee Roberts, and her six grandchildren, according to ABC.
“We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness,” Roberts’ family said in a statement published by the network.