The news alert pierced the calm of the morning work day. Veteran, award-winning journalist Cokie Roberts had died due to complications from breast cancer, according to ABC News where she spent three decades.
She was only 75.
The void was immediate.
She was a role model for female journalists around the globe. Cokie Roberts carried with her a wealth of political knowledge and context. It served her well in her role as political commentator.
Cokie Roberts was whip smart and witty. She could hold her own around any male-dominated news show table. She was like E.F. Hutton. When she spoke, people listened. She made her points with fact, history, and knowledge. She spoke eloquently and in measured tones. She knew how to argue without raising her voice and she stood her ground.
For those who played fast and loose with facts, all she had to do was look at them and cock her head to the side. You knew exactly what she was thinking,
She checked her ego at the door.
James Goldston, president of ABC News. called Cokie Roberts “a true pioneer for women in journalism.”
Indeed she was.
She was a prolific book author, writing about women in American history. Cokie Roberts even found herself on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
Her love of journalism and politics came in large part from her family, whom she spoke of often. (Thomas) Hale Boggs, the former Democratic House majority leader and representative from New Orleans was her father. He was also a member of the Warren commission that investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Hale Boggs died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972. His wife – Roberts’ mother – Lindy Boggs was elected to fill her late husband’s congressional seat. Lindy Boggs was later appointed to be the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997.
Cokie Roberts has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In 2008, the Library of Congress named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008.
Cokie Roberts felt like a best friend when she came into the living room via TV. She was real and genuine. She long encouraged women to get regular mammograms. In 2002, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She shared the news with viewers and was successfully treated.
During the summer she acknowledged having some health issues. She was looking forward to what she said promised to be a “fascinating election.”
Thank you, Cokie Roberts, for being a trailblazer and the wisdom you shared.
Cokie Roberts | 1943-2019.
- Cokie Roberts: ABC