Mary Roberts was (it hurts to say ‘was’) an American journalist and a best-selling author. She was famously known as ‘Cokie Roberts‘. She said that she got the name Cokie from her elder brother and it stayed with her. Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs (yes, this was her full name. However, it was still too short considering her greatness and knowledge) was born on December 27, 1943, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The reason why her elder brother Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. (an American lawyer who passed away on September 15, 2014, just three days prior to his birthday) called her ‘Cokie’ was because as a kid, he was unable to pronounce Corinne properly. Other members of her family were her father Hail Boggs, her mother Lindy Boggs, and her elder sister Barbara Boggs Sigmund, the Mayor of the Borough of Princeton, New Jersey who passed away on October 10, 1990.
Both of her parents served for decades as domestic members of the House of Representatives from the state of Louisiana. Cokie did her schooling from the Academy of the Sacred Heart which was an all-girls school in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from the Stone Ridge School, Washington, DC in 1960, which was also an all-girls school. Roberts completed her degree in BA (Political Science) from Wellesley College in the year 1964.
WRC-TV in Washington, DC was her first place of work wherein she worked as the host of a weekly show ‘Meeting Of The Minds’, which talked about public affairs. After a few years, she moved to New York City with her husband and found herself working as a reporter for Cowles Communications. She changed a lot of jobs because she kept moving from place to place with her husband.
After working as a producer for WNEW-TV, she and her husband moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Altman Productions and then for KNBC-TV. After that, they moved to Greece, where she worked as a stringer in Athens for CBS News. She was then the congressional correspondent for more than ten years at NPR. Furthermore, Roberts was also the co-host of ‘The Lawmakers’, which was a weekly program on Congress. She did this while working for NPR.
In 1988, Cokie was awarded the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting for her coverage of the Iran-Contra Affair. Roberts then worked for many other famous news companies such as ABC. In addition to being a journalist, Cokie was also a best-selling author. Cokie published seven books that talked about many political and social issues.
Cokie married Steven V. Roberts, also an American journalist, writer, and political commentator, in 1966. They met in the summer of 1962 when she was 18 and Steven was 19. The couple settled in Bethesda, Maryland and had two children. One of them is their daughter Rebecca Roberts, who is also an American Journalist and has co-hosted POTUS ‘08 on XM Radio.
Everything seemed to be going amazing for the family until Cokie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Although she was treated successfully at that time, she passed away on September 17, 2019, due to complications caused by the disease. The world lost a great person who inspired a lot of people to work hard and be the best in their respective fields.
Many people were shocked and expressed their grief on social media. BBC posted a story on Cokie Roberts, which is very moving and inspirational. Nina Totenberg also posted on the official site of NPR, remembering Cokie Roberts, and expressing her grief over the legendary reporter’s passing. Moreover, even the president of the United States tweeted about the passing of Cokie Roberts. However, I won’t be sharing that tweet here because I want to keep this article respectful and positive.
The whole world is in shock after the passing of this amazing journalist and author. She will be missed and hopefully, her legacy will be carried forward by her daughter Rebecca Roberts. Remembering the inspirational personality, here is an immortal quote by her:
“The truth is, the notion that gay marriage is harmful to marriage, is sort of mind-boggling because these are people trying to get married. But it seems to me if you want to defend marriage against something, defend it against divorce.”
I have shared this quote because it perfectly reflects how amazing a person she was. This shows that she had her own voice and understanding of people’s needs and feelings, and this is the quality of a generous soul.
R.I.P. Cokie Robert. You will be missed!