Political journalist Cokie Roberts dead at 75

Wednesday, 18 Sep, 2019

The family of Cokie Roberts, veteran journalist and political commentator, announced that Roberts passed away on Wednesday after complications with breast cancer.

Roberts was the author of six books, mostly recently Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868, which examined the role of powerful women in the Civil War era.

Pioneering journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts, celebrated for her four-decade career covering USA politics, has died at the age of 75. My last long conversation with her was at a wedding, where we spoke not of politics but of family; her advice on children I treasure to this day. We would like to thank the staff at the National Institutes of Health for their dedication, expertise, work and incredible care for Cokie during her illness.

She received several Emmys during her career, among other awards for journalism. "She will be missed - and we send our condolences to her family".

In 1988, she joined ABC, beginning a three-decade tenure with the network. She went on to co-anchor "This Week" with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002, reported on politics for "World News Tonight", served as chief congressional analyst for ABC News and often served as a substitute for Ted Koppel on "Nightline".

"Cokie Roberts was a trailblazer who forever transformed the role of women in the newsroom and in our history books", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Current ABC News political reporter Jonathan Karl recalled being in awe of Roberts when he first started working at the network.

Roberts is remembered for her reporting for NPR in 1978, when she covered the Panama Canal Treaty.

Roberts lamented in her television academy interview how the 24-hour news cycle meant journalists are under constant pressure to file stories and had less time to report.

She was married to Steven Roberts for 53 years and they had two children, Lee and Rebecca, and six grandchildren.

Her death comes just weeks after she released a statement about her health after she anxious fans with her "frail" appearance on ABC.

"Her warmth, wit and wisdom will be deeply missed by all", Pelosi said.

Even if you were a young congressional press secretary, as I was back in the day, she would treat you with grace and respect, despite the fact she was part of Washington's political and journalistic royalty. In 2008, the Library of Congress recognised her as a "Living Legend".

Per pool, here's Trump on the death of Cokie Roberts: "I never met her".

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