Cokie Roberts, Longtime NPR and ABC News Journalist, Dies at 75

The veteran congressional correspondent and political analyst had been battling breast cancer

Last Updated: September 17, 2019 @ 8:12 AM

Cokie Roberts, the longtime NPR and ABC News journalist, has died at age 75 of complications from breast cancer, her family said in a statement released Tuesday.

In a morning email to the news division, ABC News President James Goldston highlighted Roberts’ accomplishments over the course of four decades.

“She 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,” he wrote. “Please take a moment today to remember an exceptional reporter and remarkable 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 best seller list,” said the statement from her family. “But her values put family and relationships above all else.”

Roberts began as a foreign correspondent for CBS in the 1970s — a rare woman in broadcast journalism — before joining NPR in 1978 to cover Congress. She would go on to become the congressional correspondent for NPR, where she would eventually split her time with ABC News. She is perhaps the only reporter to have filed for “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” ABC’s “World News Tonight” and “Nightline” all in a single day.

In addition, Roberts was the author of six books, most of them best-sellers and many focused on a particular passion: the undertold stories of women in American history.

“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,” NPR said in a statement.

There was an outpouring of love for Roberts on Twitter Tuesday from journalists and consumers.

NPR’s Rachel Martin wrote, “We are heartbroken. A legend has passed. When I was in high school I wanted to grow up to be Cokie Roberts. I worked w/her at ABC & NPR. She could intuit whenever I needed a kind word, a nudge that I was doing good work and it made a difference. We will miss her so very much.”

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