If you’ve gotten the pleasure to meet her or work with her, then you know her familial warm energy. It’s paired with her inspirational spirited step (especially considering the health challenges she’s overcome) and that friendliness one gets when you’re born in the south. Roberts is a class act.
Roberts and my path crossed when I began working at ABC News where I’d report for seven years. One of those years would be spent conceptualizing and relaunching Good Morning America‘s website. It was then that I’d meet one of my journalism sheroes, Roberts.
To celebrate Black History Month in 2018, I was assigned to interview the woman who’s interviewed every luminary that matters—from Michelle Obama to that infamous sit down with Chris Brown. She’s even appeared in one of our favorite movies, Love & Basketball.
Ever-polite, Roberts was casual during our sit down just off a third floor studio at ABC. Eventually, she’d open up about how her great-great-grandfather was amazing in his own right, becoming Shepherdstown, West Virginia’s first Black entrepreneur. With tears in her eyes, she relayed how important it was to continue in her family’s esteemed legacy.
For many celebrities, they’d be embarrassed to tear up. But not for Roberts, who has mastered how to stay true to herself while exposing the vulnerabilities that make her special. It’s why we all connected with her when she revealed she was battling breast cancer in 2007.
Starting her career in 1983 as a sports anchor at her local station in Mississippi, Roberts took her talents nationally to ESPN and later to ABC’s Good Morning America. Along the way, she broke barriers, etched her name in the history books and has become a beacon of inspiration not just for journalism students, but for anyone who’s had to go through some stuff.
Earlier this week, Roberts celebrated 30 years at the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC. Although she was celebrated during her morning show, she deserves many more flowers than that. To commemorate such an amazing feat, we’ve ran down Roberts’ receipts.
Roberts began her career at Disney by making history. After being a star athlete, fostering her love of basketball and tennis, she became the first woman to co-host NFL Primetime.
ESPN network commentator Robin Roberts (right) speaks with Italian-born American basketball coach Geno Auriemma of the University of Connecticut before an exhibition game between Connecticut and the New York Liberty, Storrs, Connecticut, 1998. (Photo by Bob Stowell/Getty Images)
She would later go onto make history again by becoming the first Black woman to anchor ESPN's flagship program, SportsCenter. "And I’m very proud of that," she told Good Morning America back in 2018. "And I’m even prouder of the fact that there are numerous Black women on ESPN now."
15 Oct 2001: ESPN anchor Robin Roberts speaks to the crowd as she presents awards during a ceremony for the Women's Sports Foundation at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, NY. Digital Image. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire/ALLSPORT
Becoming known for her love of basketball, it was a no brainer when we saw her make a cameo (as herself, of course) in the 2000 film, Love and Basketball, starring Sanaa Lathan.
Robin Roberts (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage for Zing USA)
Roberts debuted on Good Morning America, where she's still a co-anchor, in 2005. There she reports hard-hitting news along with inspirational stories. She also interviews major figures in news, history and entertainment.
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - GMA is seeing double with children taking over the anchor chairs ! Sienna Hawkins sits in for Robin Roberts on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 5/14/14, airing on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Photo by Fred Lee/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Robin Roberts interviews former first lady Michelle Obama live in Chicago on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. "Good Morning America" airs Monday-Friday (7 am- 9 am, ET) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network.
(Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
ROBIN ROBERTS, MICHELLE OBAMA
In 2007, Roberts revealed live on air that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She would later reveal that she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, and would undergo a bone marrow transplant in 2012 to treat it.
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 07: ABC's Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and completed chemotherapy, takes a bow after walking the runway during the Isaac Mizrahi Fall 2008 fashion show as part of GMA's "I Dare You series" on February 7, 2008 in New York City. Today is the first day Robin has appeared on TV without her wig. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Her openness to share her health struggles made Roberts not only a symbol of hope for so many dealing with health issues, but also made her even more beloved.
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Robin Roberts, pictured during a visit to GMA on 1/24/2013, will return to the anchor desk at GOOD MORNING AMERICA on WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20 (7-9am, ET) airing on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS
Her intimate ordeal would later inspire her to write a 2014 book titled, Everybody's Got Something, to inspire others dealing with different adversities.
Robin Roberts walks down the aisle at the Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection show at the Tent at Bryant Park. (Photo By: James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Roberts continues to report on the world's biggest events while being authentically herself in the process. We stan!
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: TV personality Robin Roberts attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)