09/17/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/17/2019 16:49
While at NPR, Roberts along with colleagues Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg and Susan Stamberg became known as the NPR Founding Mothers when they organized the network with AFTRA, resulting in a union contract for on-air hosts/correspondents, and is still in effect today with SAG-AFTRA covering more than 500 employees. She would remain an NPR journalist for 10 years before moving to ABC News in 1988 where she worked for three decades.
Said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, 'Cokie Roberts was the news reporter of her generation, breaking glass ceilings and paving the way for women in broadcasting. There was no one like her - with her unmistakable voice, Cokie reported the truth with passion and dedication. She has left a lasting legacy not only through her reporting but also in her successful efforts at organizing NPR for our union and its members. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.'
'Cokie Roberts was the embodiment of our better angels,' said NPR Legal Affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, who penned an essay in tribute to her dear friend. 'She was the voice of women. She understood injustices large and small. She understood the hurdles that blue-, pink- and white-collar women face - in raising and providing for a family, in dealing with husbands and bosses. She understood the whole balance of life.'
Added ABC News radio anchor and SAG-AFTRA National Board member Cheri Preston, 'Cokie was not only a great journalist who cared deeply about the American political process-and especially the role of women in it throughout history-she was also a genuinely kind person who loved her job, but loved her family more. She always knew what was most important. She and her husband Steve complemented each other both on the air and off. She'll be missed so much.'
Throughout her career, Roberts won multiple awards including three Emmy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Walter Cronkite Award and in 2000, she was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. She was named a 'Living Legend' by The Library of Congress in 2008 and was listed as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting by the American Women in Radio and Television.
Roberts is survived by her husband, fellow journalist Steven Roberts, her two children and six grandchildren.
Photo credits: NPR