Robin Roberts is exactly who she says she is.
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.