Emmy winning journalist Cokie Roberts passed away at the age of 75. She knew the trials and tribulations of the nameless who kept the Congress going, and she expressed her appreciation by treating them with professionalism and compassion. She would go on to become the congressional correspondent for NPR, where she would eventually split her time with ABC News.
Roberts, the daughter of former US representatives, grew up walking the halls of Congress and absorbing the personalities, folkways and behind-the-scenes machinations of the nation's capital.
I so admired her work, but she was at her very best as a friend. "She understood people and politics".
Roberts, born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs, had a long and storied career as a journalist, author and political commentator. Lindy Boggs also served as USA ambassador to the Vatican. She attended Wellesley College, and met her future husband at a conference for student leaders.
But she filled that void with her foray into journalism.
Roberts was best known for her routine appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. After joining ABC News in 1988, she stayed on as a political commentator part-time for the rest of her life.
Fellow NPR reporter Nina Totenberg wrote on Twitter that "the world will be a lesser place" without Roberts. Together they represented New Orleans for 46 years. "Cokie represented the durable, ongoing Washington that is a custodian of the manners of the city and the sociability of the city that makes it really function".
Roberts was an Emmy-winning journalist who was one of National Public Radio's stars, with her incisive commentary and ability to translate hard issues making her a favorite among listeners. She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. The nickname stuck until her death. She was also the recipient of three Emmys and was named a "Living Legend" in 2008 by the Library of Congress.
"Don't get all involved in the politics of your institution, or competition in your institution".
Roberts also wrote eight books that mostly focus on the role of women in US history.
Her beloved husband Steve was at her side through all of it.
The couple co-wrote the book "From This Day Forward", first published in 2000, which candidly tells the personal story of their interfaith marriage while discussing the wider topic of the state of marriage in America. "If he is nominated by a major party - let alone elected - the reputation of the United States would suffer a devastating blow around the world".
In her universe of friends I was but a speck, but every time we spoke she made you feel welcomed and witnessed, no matter your station in the political pecking order at the time. She persuaded me to have a child, by proving that you could be an attentive mother, as she was, AND have a big career. And it gave her time to spend with her mother outside of Sunday dinner.
Current ABC News political reporter Jonathan Karl recalled being in awe of Cokie when he first started working at the network. Cokie Roberts was deeply kind. It's unclear when Roberts' cancer returned, but she did note in an interview over the summer that she was battling an illness.