Corinne Claiborne Boggs Roberts, 1943-2019

Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs “Cokie” Roberts has died. ABC News reports:

Renowned ABC News journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts has died at the age of 75.

Roberts won countless awards, including three Emmys, throughout her decades-long career. She 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. She was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress in 2008.

“We will miss Cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness,” her family said in a statement.

Her death was due to complications from breast cancer.

Roberts, born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs, said she got the name “Cokie” from her older brother, who couldn’t pronounce Corinne and dubbed her Cokie instead. The name stuck with her ever since.

“Cokie Roberts will be dearly missed,” said James Goldston, president of ABC News. “Cokie’s kindness, generosity, sharp intellect and thoughtful take on the big issues of the day made ABC a better place and all of us better journalists.”

Roberts was “a true pioneer for women in journalism,” Goldston said, “well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, D.C., countless newsmaking interviews, and, notably, her unwavering support for generations of young women — and men — who would follow in her footsteps.”

She was from a Louisiana political family whose roots went all the way back to the beginnings of the Republic. She was descended from William Claiborne, the first territorial governor of the Territory of Orleans which would become the State of Louisiana. Her father was Hale Boggs, formerly the House Democratic Majority Leader. Her mother, Lindy Boggs, represented Louisiana’s Second Congressional District after her father was killed in a plane crash and was appointed the U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See by Bill Clinton. She had deep political connections to a state that no longer exists—a Louisiana as solidly Democratic as today’s is Republican.

She learned politics at the family dinner table and from the many family friends who ate at that table. I doubt that many of my readers can really appreciate the insights that brings.

I started listening to her on NPR back in the 1970s and valued those insights she brought to her reporting. I doubt we will see her like again.

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