Honoring Cokie Roberts

Legendary journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts has passed away at the age of 75.
4:06 | 09/17/19

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Transcript for Honoring Cokie Roberts
We're going to turn to the sad news we delivered earlier today here. Our long-time colleague and friend cokie Roberts has passed away at the age of 75. Tonight, she's being celebrated by presidents and first ladies, by so many of us in journalism. She was a pioneer. But we all know the role cokie treasured most, the role of mother and grandmother. She had a brilliant mind, matched only by her kindness, her grace and, of course, her wit. Born into a political family in Louisiana, her full name was Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne boggs. But her brother could not pronounce her name. To him, she was cokie. That's who she was to the rest of us, too. Thank you for having me and please call me cokie. I will, I'm from the south, too, you know how that goes. Reporter: Her father was long-time congressman hale he was killed this a plane crash and his wife, Lindy, would win his seat. Together, cokie's parents would represent the people of new Orleans in congress for nearly 50 years. Cokie grew up in the south, but she was also a young witness to history in our nation's capital. It left an impression on her, how much the women were really doing. We watched them run the political conventions, their husband's offices, their campaigns. Reporter: Cokie did consider politics as a young woman, but instead, she decided to report on it, to witness it. A student at wellsley, she met her husband at a political meeting in 1962. He was studying at Harvard, a budding journalist himself. They would marry in 1966, and president Lyndon Johnson famously attended their wedding. Cokie's mother, Lindy, actually cooking food for the crowd of 1,500. Along the way, cokie would remember that first job. Anchoring a public affairs program in Washington, she was just 21. It was called "Meeting of the minds." It was essentially reporting and then writing very brief little stories and I loved it. Reporter: She would become a political commentator for NPR and in 1988, she would join ABC news. We're following two major stories tonight. Reporter: She would contribute to ABC's "This week" and then co-anchor the program with Sam Donaldson. What is your definition of womanizing, Sam? Most women know it when they see it, senator. Reporter: And through the years, every big political night, cokie was there, too. Her interviews with presidents and first ladies. Cokie was an author and historian, too, writing more than a half dozen books. So often telling the untold contributions of women in America. And she wrote a book called "We are our mothers' daughters", and she said this not so long ago. What has been the best piece of advice someone has given you -- Listen to your mother. Well, that worked out well. Reporter cokie was cited one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. But it was never the awards or the attention, it was family. Her two children, Rebecca and Lee, her six grandchildren and her husband of more than 50 years, Steven. Tonight, the family saying "We will miss cokie beyond measure, both for her contributions and for her love and kindness." Former president Obama and first lady Michelle Obama calling cokie can a role model, a constant over 40 years of a changing world." President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura writing, "She covered us for decades. We respected her strive and appreciated her humor. She became a friend." And tonight, speaker Nancy Pelosi calling her "A trailblazer who forever transformed the role of women in the news room." And safe the children tonight remembering a tireless champion for children. But to all of us here at ABC news, she was cokie. She made us all better, her brilliant mind, her sharp wit, but above all, it was her kindness.

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

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