‘The Personification Of Human Decency’: Nina Totenberg Remembers Cokie Roberts – NPR
Cokie Roberts died on Tuesday of complications from breast cancer. NPR hide caption toggle caption NPR Cokie Roberts died on Tuesday of complications from breast cancer. NPR Our newsroom is in tears. My phone and email are bursting with more tears. The country has lost a great journalist. But I and so many thousands of…

Cokie Roberts died on Tuesday of complications from breast most cancers.

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Cokie Roberts died on Tuesday of complications from breast most cancers.

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Our newsroom is in tears. My cell phone and email are bursting with more tears. The nation has lost a huge journalist. But I and so many thousands of others maintain lost a huge ample friend. Sure, thousands of others.

Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At Seventy five

Cokie Roberts became as soon as the embodiment of our better angels — whether it became as soon as her work for Keep the Teenagers or the millions of kindnesses sizable and tiny that she distributed day-to-day, with out ever thinking that what she became as soon as doing became as soon as queer or excellent.

The nation knew her as this incessantly neatly mannered political reporter, involving to request the impolitic question if important — this silly, gleaming, neat girl, who might per chance even write circles round most journalists.

Linda Wertheimer (left to excellent), Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg and Cokie Roberts helped shape NPR’s sound and culture at a time when few ladies held critical roles in journalism.

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Linda Wertheimer (left to excellent), Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg and Cokie Roberts helped shape NPR’s sound and culture at a time when few ladies held critical roles in journalism.

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For the previous three years, as she battled the return of a most cancers vanquished some 14 years earlier, she carried on, incessantly with that infectious chortle. She gave speeches, looked on TV and radio, and even known as me about a days in the past from the sanatorium to find a “pick up” on my reporting relating to the recent NPR president. Certainly, she became as soon as planning to hotfoot to Houston for the debates final week, unless her disease in the rupture trumped her grit.

National Archives Foundation Vice Chair of Board Cokie Roberts and pale first lady Laura Bush onstage at the National Archives Foundation Annual Gala in Washington, D.C., in 2018.

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National Archives Foundation Vice Chair of Board Cokie Roberts and pale first lady Laura Bush onstage at the National Archives Foundation Annual Gala in Washington, D.C., in 2018.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photos for National Archiv

She didn’t need other folk to take dangle of she became as soon as sick. She loved lifestyles and he or she became as soon as firm to reside it so long as she might per chance even. And that intended doing what she incessantly did, in conjunction with being a dapper partner, mother and grandmother. There became as soon as not a gamble she became as soon as going to kill commitments, no topic how rotten she felt. There became as soon as not a gamble she would ample lie in mattress.

True 10 days in the past, she insisted on going to the motion pictures, as stylish on Saturday night, with me, Linda Wertheimer, and our husbands. By then, she might per chance even barely luxuriate in, and became as soon as in important concern, however we all had a delectable time.

Our final time luxuriate in that.

Left: Nina Totenberg (from left), Linda Wertheimer and Cokie Roberts photographed round 1979. Correct: Totenberg, Wertheimer and Roberts pictured more recently at NPR headquarters.

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To know Cokie became as soon as to glimpse the personification of human decency. There is a motive she became as soon as requested to keep in touch at so many funerals. Of us felt one of these deep connection to her because she touched their lives. Casual pals would gain Cokie visiting them in the sanatorium. Of us in hideous monetary straits would gain her bailing them out, hiring them for work that doubtless she didn’t need, however work that left them with their dignity.

“We had the excellent to vote as American voters. We didn’t ought to be granted it by some bunch of fellows” — Cokie Roberts speaking on @MorningEdition this twelve months about ladies’s suffrage.

The stylish journalist, one among NPR’s “founding mothers,” has died at Seventy five. pic.twitter.com/61n10qxLnQ

— NPR (@NPR) September 17, 2019

And I … neatly, I am not determined how I would maintain survived the long illness and death of my first husband with out Cokie. She went with me to scientific doctors’ conferences, took notes, gave other folk hell if promised companies maintain been not delivered, and if, now and then, she heard my suppose faltering on the cell phone, she would magically seem to bolster my spirits.

Roberts is shown in her home space of job in 1990 alongside with her dog, Abner, and cat, Tabasco.

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On a better scale, she became as soon as incessantly the suppose of other folk with much less vitality, and the suppose of what is excellent. I bear in mind one day many years in the past, when we maintain been in negotiations with NPR administration over a labor contract. Administration didn’t desire to lengthen neatly being care protection to one personnel, and we maintain been at an deadlock.

Then Cokie, who became as soon as engaged on a share of embroidery, looked up at the administration personnel and said, “You understand, the distance you take will not be if truth be told imperfect, it is merely amoral.” The room received very aloof, and quickly the deadlock became as soon as over.

And for sure, she became as soon as the suppose of ladies. She understood injustices sizable and tiny. She understood the hurdles that blue-, purple- and white-collar ladies face — in raising and providing for a family, in going thru husbands and executives. She understood the entire stability of lifestyles.

I went to glimpse her Monday night in the sanatorium. I am not determined that she might per chance even hear me. But after I said goodbye, I educated her I might per chance even ogle her on the quite diverse side, at that mountainous broadcasting studio someplace, and that I knew she would calm be a celebrity.