ABC News President James Golston said Tuesday in a letter sent to the company's news division that Roberts died while surrounded by family and her closest friends in Washington.
"Cokie had a storied career over 40 years in television, public radio and publishing," Golston said. "A true pioneer for women in journalism, Cokie was well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, DC., countless newsmaking interviews, and, notably, her unwavering support for the generations of young women – and men – who would follow her in her footsteps."
Roberts was born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on Dec. 27, 1943.
She started her journalism career in the 1970s, when she became a foreign correspondent for CBS. She began covering Washington for NPR in 1978. Eventually, she became the network's congressional correspondent, a role she held for more than a decade. From 1996 to 2002, she co-anchored ABC's "This Week" with Sam Donaldson.
She earned three Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award for radio and several other accolades over the course of her career. She was also a best-selling author with six published books. In 2008, Roberts was named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress.
"Cokie was – first and foremost – a wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin and friend," Roberts' family said in a statement released Tuesday morning. "Cokie’s career as a journalist at National Public Radio and ABC News took her to the heights of her profession, and her success as an author on history and family put her on the best seller list. But her values put family and relationships above all else."
Roberts is survived by her husband of 53 years, journalist Steven V. Roberts; her children, Lee Roberts and Rebecca Roberts; her grandchildren, Regan Roberts, Hale Roberts, Cecilia Roberts, Claiborne Hartman, Jack Harman and Roland Hartman; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.