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Cokie Roberts: The Legacy Of One Of The ‘Founding Mothers of NPR’

NPR "Founding Mother" Cokie Roberts

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Cokie Roberts, the daughter of politicians who grew up to cover the family business in Washington for ABC News and NPR over several decades, died Tuesday in Washington of complications from breast cancer. She was 75.

ABC broke into network programming to announce her death and pay tribute.

Roberts was the daughter of Hale Boggs, a former House majority leader from Louisiana, and Lindy Boggs, who succeeded her husband in the job. Roberts worked in radio and at CBS News and PBS before joining ABC News in 1988.

She was a congressional reporter and analyst who co-anchored the Sunday political show “This Week” with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002.

Roberts paved the way for women journalists at a time when there were few in the profession and was known as one of the “founding mothers of NPR.” We remember her work and talk to her colleagues, as well as journalists who were inspired and shaped by her legacy. 

With files from the Associated Press.


Nina Totenberg, legal affairs correspondent for National Public Radio; one of the founding mothers of NPR

Bill Davis, President Emeritus of Southern California Public Radio

David Folkenflik, NPR media correspondent; he tweets @davidfolkenflik

Scott Simon, NPR host of Weekend Edition Saturday, he tweets @nprscottsimon

Judy Muller, an Emmy, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning television correspondent and National Public Radio commentator; professor emeritus at USC’s School of Journalism

Tamara Keith, NPR White House Correspondent; she tweets @tamarakeithNPR