As the daughter of legendary New Orleans lawmakers Hale and Lindy Boggs, Cokie Roberts had a front seat at history in the making.
That love of history never left her, informing her coverage of national politics as a longtime journalist for National Public Radio, then as a commentator for ABC and the co-author of a nationally syndicated column she wrote with her husband and fellow reporter, Steve Roberts.
Cokie Roberts, who died Tuesday at 75 from complications of cancer, will also be remembered for extending her parents’ tradition of polite civil discourse. Roberts was reliably liberal in her political opinions, carried in a column that was regularly published in this newspaper. But she believed in disagreeing agreeably, and her grace will be especially missed in today’s divisive political atmosphere.
Though she came of age in the 1960s, Roberts didn’t seem like a standard-bearer of the era’s counterculture. She was an exemplar of old-school manners, and her long and devoted marriage to Steve Roberts was an abiding reminder that family values aren’t the exclusive province of any party.
As an amateur historian, Cokie Roberts had a deep appreciation of the principles worth keeping in a constantly changing world. She wrote several books about the courageous and resourceful women who made America what it is today.
Roberts was such a woman herself, carving out a role as a nationally distinguished journalist at a time when such jobs for women were virtually nonexistent.
Louisiana has lost a great friend. Godspeed, Cokie Roberts, and thanks not only for writing history, but making it.