The extraordinary career of Cokie Roberts

The ABC News journalist and political commentator began working as an anchor in Washington, D.C., at 21.
4:49 | 09/17/19

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Transcript for The extraordinary career of Cokie Roberts
She's been a fixture behind the news to ask for over forty years. We're following two major stories tonight reporting on the stories that shaped generations. President Clinton's problems with Gennifer Flowers but not just her word of this tape recordings journalism was her calling put. Politics well that was cookies passion as a reporter and author she trail blazed her way to an industry where women were just breaking through. Her full name was Mary Martha Kerr ran. Morrison Claiborn Roberts but anyone who knew her affectionately called her Cokie. Thank you for having me and commie country well I will I'm gonna sell kid born in Louisiana in 1943. Cokie Roberts was would daughter. A long time US representatives hale Boggs and Lindy Boggs. Who collectively serve the people of New Orleans for 46 years. The other women who were in Washington when I was growing up we watched prime everything. We watch them run their political conventions campaigns. Through her parents she enjoyed a front row seat to history and politics. Which shaped her interest in Washington. Learning the world of congress the way other children learn to walk and talk as a young girl she considered to joining the family business. But in college her interest in journalism was strengthened. By her future husband Steve Roberts but her love and close ties to Washington were never far behind. President Lyndon B Johnson famously even attended her wedding in 1966. She began working as an anchor and Washington 121. And shortly after headed to New York to work as a reporter. It was essentially reporting and writing very brief little stories and I loved it. Before landing at national public radio as a political commentator. Com ABC news. But in 1980. She found her home right here the American people don't want this to. But he really did I didn't inhale and I didn't you know I didn't I was never drafted and. At ABC news working as a contributor on this week cookies razor sharp mind you're definitely want. Knowledge when they see it sent it matched only by her infinite kindness but the cameras stopped rural. Cameras here at an investor you very important and and always. Always the smile that giggle. Her sense of humor. And this week with the company required co anchoring the show was Sam Donaldson from 1996. To 2002. From there she would become a staple of ABC news political coverage. Interviewing presidents. Politicians. And first ladies in body in the idea of journalistic integrity. And female empowerment I hate to saint and it's a female thing women does work together a lot. Much more so than their husbands much more so than men. Yeah. She would write several New York Times best sellers were counting the untold and remarkable contributions of women in American history. When I started out in the world of work it was illegal for women to become generals or admirals. So there's a huge change in the years that. But I've been plowing this tech. And it. Received countless awards be cited as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. And hold more than thirty honorary degrees. Inspiring students with words at commencement all the cross the country. You must. Look at the institutions of government politics business the it can't be in journalism. And hold them accountable to the people they are supposed sister. In 2002. Battling breast cancer and bravely facing going on the air. Wearing a lakers. I felt. First going on the air and a wig that I looked really goofy. And and election night 2002. Absolutely it was my best wig it was the human hair rig methods synthetic ring and I thought it just slipped off. So I don't know it's it is part. Cokie always the inspiration. For those who have the privilege and we're blessed to work by her side. She made each one of her fellow colleagues better I always striving for the best. And by always remembering and reminding us all to keep the compassion. In journalism. Thank you for your support it's important Cokie Roberts. The beloved mother of two grandmother of six. And a legend to us all.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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