Family Tree Tuesday – Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts is an American journalist and author. She is a contributing senior news analyst for National Public Radio as well as a regular round table analyst for the current This Week With George Stephanopoulos. She also works as a political commentator for ABC News, serving as an on-air analyst for the network. Roberts serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations such as the Kaiser Family Foundation. She is the author of the national bestseller We Are Our Mother’s Daughters as well as Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation.
Roberts was born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on December 27, 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana to the late Hale Boggs and Lindy Boggs. She is the youngest of three children. Her sister was the late Barbara Boggs Sigmund and her brother is Thomas “Tommy” Hale Boggs, Jr., a prominent Washington, D.C. attorney and lobbyist. Roberts received her nickname “Cokie” from her brother, who could not pronounce “Corinne”.
Hale Boggs was an American Democratic politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was first elected to the U.S. House for the Second District serving from 1941-1943, at the time he was the youngest elected member of Congress at the age of 26. After an unsuccessful re-election bid in 1942, he joined the United States Navy as an ensign and served the remainder of World War II. Boggs was elected again to congress in 1946 and was then re-elected thirteen times. On October 16, 1972, he was aboard a twin engine Cessna 310 with Representative Nick Begich of Alaska when it disappeared during a flight from Anchorage to Juneau. Neither the wreckage of the plane nor the pilot’s and passengers’ remains were ever found. The accident prompted Congress to pass a law mandating Emergency Locator Transmitters in all U.S. civil aircraft. Both Boggs and Begich were re-elected that November. By special election Boggs’ wife Lindy was elected as a Democrat to the 93rd Congress to the second district left vacant by Boggs’ death.
Lindy Boggs served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-1991 and later as United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 1997-2001. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana and she was the first female to preside over a major party convention as a permanent chairwoman at the 1976 Democratic National Convention.
Barbara Boggs Sigmund was mayor of Princeton, New Jersey from 1983-1990 and a candidate for U.S. Senate from New Jersey in 1982. Sigmund founded Womanspace, a Mercer County, New Jersey non-profit agency that provides services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She had lost an eye battling cancer and wore an eye patch that became iconic when she attended events as the mayor, sporting an eye patch that matched her outfit. She died of cancer in 1990.
Cokie married professor and fellow journalist, Steven V. Roberts in 1966. He was a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report for seven years where he is now a contributing editor. Roberts appears regularly on ABC Radio, Washington Week in Review, CNN, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and often fills in as substitute host of The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. Cokie and Steven write a nationally syndicated newspaper column and are contributing writers for USA Weekend. Their daughter, Rebecca Boggs Roberts is also a journalist. She was one of the hosts of POTUS ’08 on XM Radio, which offered live daily coverage of the 2008 presidential election. She also served as a substitute host for Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, and Weekend Edition Sunday on National Public Radio.
Check out Cokie Roberts’ family tree and see how you may be related!