Cokie Roberts

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Cokie Roberts
File:Cokie roberts 2944.JPG
at the 2014 National Book Festival
Born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs
(1943-12-27) December 27, 1943 (age 75)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Residence Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Nationality United States
Alma mater Wellesley College
Occupation Journalist, Author
Employer NPR, ABC
Known for Journalist, author, pundit, television l
Title Contributing Senior News Analyst
Spouse(s) Steven V. Roberts (m. 1966)
Children Rebecca Roberts
Lee Roberts
Parent(s) Hale Boggs
Lindy Boggs
Relatives Barbara Boggs Sigmund (Sister)
Tommy Boggs (Brother)
Daniel J. Hartman (son-in-law)
Paul Sigmund (brother-in-law)
Paul Sigmund, Jr. (nephew)
David Sigmund (nephew)
Stephen Sigmund (nephew)
six grandchildren
William Robertson Boggs (brother, deceased)
William C. C. Claiborne (ancestor)
DeLesseps Story Morrison (second cousin, once removed)

Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts (née Boggs;[2] born December 27, 1943), best known as Cokie Roberts, is an American journalist and author. She is a contributing senior news analyst for National Public Radio as well as a regular roundtable analyst for the current This Week With George Stephanopoulos. Roberts also works as a political commentator for ABC News, serving as an on-air analyst for the network.

Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly column syndicated by United Media in newspapers around the United States. She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations such as the Kaiser Family Foundation[3] and was appointed by President George W. Bush to his Council on Service and Civic Participation.[4]


Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs was born on December 27, 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received the sobriquet "Cokie" from her brother Tommy, who could not pronounce "Corinne".[2] Cokie Roberts is the third child and youngest daughter of ambassador and long-time Democratic Congresswoman from Louisiana Lindy Boggs and of Hale Boggs, also a Democratic Congressman from Louisiana. He was Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and a member of the Warren Commission. He was lost on a plane which disappeared over Alaska on October 16, 1972.[5] Her sister, Barbara Boggs Sigmund, was mayor of Princeton, New Jersey and a candidate for U.S. Senate from New Jersey. Her late brother Tommy Boggs was a prominent Washington, D.C. attorney and lobbyist.[6]

Roberts attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls school in New Orleans, before graduating from the Stone Ridge School, an all-girls school outside Washington, D.C. in 1960.[7] She graduated from Wellesley College in 1964, where she received a BA in Political Science.[8]

She has been married to Steven V. Roberts, a professor and fellow journalist, since 1966. They met in the summer of 1962, when she was 18 and he was 19.[9] They currently reside in Bethesda, Maryland. She and her husband have two children and six grandchildren. Their daughter Rebecca Roberts is also a journalist and was one of the hosts of POTUS '08 on XM Radio.


Roberts serves as a senior news analyst for NPR, where she was the congressional correspondent for more than ten years. In addition to her work for NPR, Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, serving as an on-air analyst for the network. Roberts was the co-anchor of the ABC News' Sunday morning broadcast, This Week with Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts from 1996 to 2002, while serving as the chief congressional analyst for ABC News. She covered politics, Congress and public policy, reporting for World News Tonight and other ABC News broadcasts.

Before joining ABC News in 1988, Roberts was a contributor to PBS in the evening television news program The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Her coverage of the Iran-Contra Affair for that program won her the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting in 1988.[10] From 1981 to 1984, in addition to her work at NPR, she also co-hosted The Lawmakers, a weekly public television program on Congress.

Prior to joining NPR, Roberts was a reporter for CBS News in Athens, Greece. She also produced and hosted a public affairs program on WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. Roberts is also a former president of the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association.[citation needed]

Awards and honors

Roberts has won numerous awards, such as the Edward R. Murrow Award,[11] the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for coverage of Congress[12] and a 1991 Emmy Award for her contribution to "Who is Ross Perot?"[13]


In 2002, Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was successfully treated for this.[14]


Some have questioned Roberts' objectivity as a journalist. While working in Guatemala in 1989 helping poor indigenous Guatemalans how to read, Sister Dianna Ortiz, a Catholic nun from New Mexico, was abducted, raped and tortured by members of a government-backed death squad, who believed she was a subversive.[15] During a subsequent interview, Roberts contested Ortiz's claim that an American was among her captors. (The United States provided significant military aid to Guatemala at the time.) Roberts implied that Ortiz was lying about the entire episode, despite the fact that Ortiz later won a lawsuit against a Guatemalan general she accused in the case.[16] It was later revealed that Roberts' brother Tom Boggs' law firm Patton Boggs, was paid by the Guatemalan government to promote a more positive image of the regime, which was widely criticized internationally for human rights abuses.[17][18][19] Coupled with her treatment of Ortiz, Roberts's personal connection to a paid lobbyist for the Guatemalan government raised questions about her ability to report on the matter accurately.

The media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has criticized Roberts for favoring corporate interests over those of working people. During a 1992 interview with Al Gore, for example, Roberts called for cuts in Medicare and Social Security, but suggested no cuts to the military budget.[20] Representative Alan Grayson has criticized Roberts' support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which Grayson argues would cost the United States manufacturing jobs and worsen the United States' already large trade deficit, which has grown steadily since the passage of similar trade deals like NAFTA in 1994.[21] Grayson also noted that one of the chief lobbying groups pushing for TPP was Roberts' brother's lobbying firm, Patton Boggs.

Writing in, Jack Shafer characterized Roberts' weekly segments for NPR's Morning Edition as "vacuous" and "four minutes of on-air blather" that relied heavily on her use of the word "interesting". Shafer also wrote, "Her segments, though billed as 'analysis' by NPR, do little but speed-graze the headlines and add a few grace notes. If you're vaguely conversant with current events, you're already cruising at Roberts' velocity. Roberts doesn't just voice the conventional wisdom; she is the conventional wisdom."[22]



  1. Robert, Cokie (2008). "Cokie Roberts". In Kennedy, Kerry. Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk about Change in the Church and the Quest for Meaning. New York: Three Rivers Press. p. 26. ISBN 9780307346858.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Roberts, Cokie (1993-03-08). "Private Video" (Video) (Talk Show). Interviewed by Charlie Rose. Retrieved 2008-05-20. Unknown parameter |program= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |callsign= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation – Board of Trustees". Retrieved 2010-03-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. "Meet the Council Members". USA Freedom Corps. Retrieved 2008-04-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Horowitz, Jason (August 15, 2010). "Alaska plane crash a painful reminder for families of Boggs and Begich". Washington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Tommy Boggs, influential lobbyist dies; son of Congresswoman Boggs". The New Orleans Advocate. September 15, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Stone Ridge School. "Alumnae Exellence". Retrieved 2008-04-11. Cokie Boggs Roberts '60<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Wellesley College. "Notable Wellesley College Alumnae". Retrieved 2008-04-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Roberts, Cokie; Roberts, Steven (2000-02-28). "A conversation with Cokie & Steve Roberts" (Video) (Talk Show). Interviewed by Charlie Rose. Retrieved 2008-05-20. Unknown parameter |program= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |callsign= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Krogh, Peter F. (1995-04-25). "ISD Report" (PDF). Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Georgetown University. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-04-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Recipients of the Edward R. Murrow Award". Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2008-04-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Everett McKinley Dirksen Awards for Distinguished Reporting of Congress". National Press Foundation. Retrieved 2008-04-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. NPR. "Cokie Roberts, NPR Biography". Retrieved 2008-04-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Larry King Live (May 22, 2004). "Interviews With Cokie Roberts et al" (transcript). Retrieved on March 27, 2009. "No, no. My breast cancer is gone."
  15. Weinraub, Judith. "BACK FROM THE DEAD; Dianna Ortiz was One of the Missing in Guatemala. She has Only Now found Her Voice." The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext): 0. Jul 18 1995. ProQuest. Web. 9 June 2014 .
  16. "U.S. Judge Orders Guatemalan to Pay for Atrocities." Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext): 16. Apr 13 1995. ProQuest. Web. 9 June 2014.
  17. Julie Gozon. "The Torturers' Lobby." Multinational Monitor. April 5, 1993. Accessed June 9, 2014.
  18. Stein, Jeff (22 May 1996). "The Self-Inflicted Wounds Of Colby's CIA". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 9 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Sherman, John (2000). Latin America in Crisis. Oxford: Westview Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-8133-3540X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Martin Lee and Jeff Cohen. "NPR and Cokie Roberts." April 1, 1993. Accessed June 9, 2014.
  21. Alan Grayson."Cokie Roberts Attacks Us: This is How DC Works." Alan Grayson's E-mails. March 29th, 2014. Accessed June 9, 2014.

External sources

Media offices
Preceded by
David Brinkley
This Week co-anchor with Sam Donaldson
December 15, 1996 – September 8, 2002
Succeeded by
George Stephanopoulos