Cokie Roberts, Longtime Political Journalist, Dies at 75

Cokie Roberts in 2009 - H Getty 2019
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Roberts died Tuesday morning surrounded by her family and closest friends.

Cokie Roberts, longtime political reporter and analyst at ABC News and NPR, has died. She was 75.

Roberts died Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C., surrounded by her family and closest friends. "Her loving family announces the passing of journalist and author Cokie Roberts, due to complications from breast cancer," read a statement from the family. "Cokie was — first and foremost — a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin and friend."

Born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on Dec. 27, 1943, Roberts' made a name for herself as a journalist at National Public Radio and ABC News.

ABC News president James Goldston informed the news division of Roberts' death, calling her an exceptional reporter and remarkable friend. "A true pioneer for women in journalism, Cokie was well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, D.C., countless newsmaking interviews and, notably, her unwavering support for the generations of young women — and men — who would follow her in her footsteps," reads the memo, in part, from Goldston.

Roberts, also a best-selling author, had a storied career over 40 years in television, public radio and publishing. She started at ABC as a contributor for This Week With David Brinkley. Roberts was ABC’s chief congressional analyst, anchored This Week With Sam Donaldson from 1996-2002 and was known as one of the smartest political commentators and pioneers for women in journalism.

She began in radio as a foreign correspondent for CBS in the 1970s before moving to NPR to cover Capitol Hill as congressional correspondent and split her time with ABC News. 

Goldston points out that Roberts won "every major award in journalism and was recognized with over 30 honorary degrees." She was named one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television, and the Library of Congress declared her a "Living Legend" in 2008.

Roberts is survived by her husband of 53 years, journalist, author and professor Steven V. Roberts; children Lee Roberts and Rebecca Roberts; grandchildren Regan, Hale, Cecilia, Claiborne, Jack and Roland; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family thanked the staff at the National Institutes of Health for their care during Roberts' illness. "We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness," said the family.