Robin Roberts (newscaster)

This article is about the television personality. For other uses, see Robin Roberts (disambiguation).
Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts at The Heart Truth 2010
Born Robin René Roberts
(1960-11-23) November 23, 1960
Tuskegee, Alabama, U.S.[1]
Nationality American
Education B.A. in Communication, Southeastern Louisiana University
Occupation News anchor
Years active 1983–present
Notable credit(s) Anchor of SportsCenter (1990–2005)
Title Anchor of Good Morning America
Partner(s) Amber Laign (2005-present)
Parent(s) Lawrence E. Roberts
Relatives Sally-Ann Roberts (sister)

Robin René Roberts (born November 23, 1960)[2] is an American television broadcaster. Roberts is the anchor of ABC's Good Morning America.[3]

After growing up in Mississippi and attending Southeastern Louisiana University, Roberts was a sports anchor for local TV and radio stations. Roberts was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years (1990–2005). She became co-anchor on Good Morning America in 2005. She has been treated for breast cancer and for myelodysplastic syndrome.

Early life

Though born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Robin Roberts grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where she played basketball and tennis, among other sports. She attended Pass Christian High School and graduated as the class of 1979 salutatorian.[4] She is the daughter of Lucimarian (née Tolliver) and Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts.

In a 2006 presentation to the assembled student body at Abilene Christian University, Roberts credited her parents as cultivating the "three 'D's: Discipline, Determination, and 'De Lord'."[5] She is the youngest of four, following siblings Sally-Ann, Lawrence, Jr. (nicknamed Butch), and Dorothy. Her father was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen.[6]


Roberts attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, graduating cum laude in 1983 with a degree in communication.[7] She followed in the footsteps of her older sister Sally-Ann Roberts, an anchor at the CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans.[8][9]

Roberts noted on the January 14, 2007, edition of Costas on the Radio that she was offered a scholarship to play basketball at Louisiana State University but thought the school was too big and impersonal after visiting the campus. On her way back to Pass Christian from that visit, she saw a road sign for Southeastern Louisiana University, stopped to visit and decided to enroll. The only scholarship left was a tennis scholarship, and she was promised that there would be a journalism scholarship by the time she would graduate. She went on to become a standout performer on the women's basketball team, ending her career as the school's third all-time leading scorer (1,446 points) and rebounder (1,034). Roberts is one of only three Lady Lions to score 1,000 career points and grab 1,000 career rebounds. During her senior season, she averaged a career-high 69 points per game. On February 5, 2011, Southeastern hosted a ceremony to retire Roberts' jersey, number 21.[10]

Broadcasting career

Roberts began her career in 1983 as a sports anchor and reporter for WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.[11] In 1984, she moved to WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1986, she was sports anchor and reporter for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee.[12] She was also a sports anchor and reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1988 to 1990. She was also a radio host for radio station V-103 while in Atlanta.

ESPN and ABC News

Robin Roberts on the red carpet at the 81st Academy Awards

She joined ESPN as a sportscaster in February 1990, where she stayed until 2005. She became well known on SportsCenter for her catchphrase, "Go on with your bad self!" Roberts began to work for ABC News, specifically as a featured reporter, for Good Morning America in June 1995. In 2001, Roberts received the Mel Greenberg Media Award, presented by the WBCA.[13]

For many years, Roberts worked at both ESPN and Good Morning America, contributing to both programs. During that time, she served primarily as the news anchor at GMA. In 2005, Roberts was promoted to co-anchor of Good Morning America. In December 2009, Roberts was joined by George Stephanopoulos as co-anchor of GMA after Diane Sawyer left to anchor ABC World News. Under their partnership, the Roberts-Stephanopoulos team led Good Morning America back to the top of the ratings; the program became the number-one morning show again in April 2012, beating NBC's Today, which had held the top spot for the previous 16 years.

In the fall of 2005, Roberts anchored a series of emotional reports from the Mississippi Gulf Coast after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina; her hometown of Pass Christian was especially hard hit, with her old high school reduced to rubble. On February 22, 2009, Roberts hosted the Academy Awards preshow for ABC, and did so again in 2011. In 2010, Roberts guest starred on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, appearing in season 4, episode 10, "Can You See the Real Me?" On May 30, 2010, Roberts drove the Pace Car for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.[14]

Roberts was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Hall's class of 2012 for her contributions to and impact on the game of women's basketball through her broadcasting work and play.[15] In 2014 Roberts was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25.[16]

Roberts interviews President Barack Obama for Good Morning America in the Cabinet Room of the White House, May 9, 2012

In 2014, Roberts won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.[17]

Personal life

Roberts is Presbyterian and a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.[18] In 2007, Roberts was diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer.[19] She underwent surgery on August 3, and by January 2008 had completed eight chemotherapy treatments, followed by 6½ weeks of radiation treatment.

In 2012, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the bone marrow.[20] Be the Match Registry, a nonprofit organization run by the National Marrow Donor Program, experienced an 1,800% spike in donors the day Roberts went public with her illness.[21] She took a leave from GMA to get a bone marrow transplant,[22][23] and went home in October 2012.[24] She returned to GMA on February 20, 2013.[25] Roberts received a 2012 Peabody Award for the program. The Peabody citation credits her for "allowing her network to document and build a public service campaign around her battle with rare disease" and "inspir[ing] hundreds of potential bone marrow donors to register and heighten[ing] awareness of the need for even more donors."[26] ESPN awarded its Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Robin Roberts at the 2013 ESPYs.[27]

On December 29, 2013, Roberts posted a photo on Facebook with a caption that read:

At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health... I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.[28]

The post was a reflection of the past year and noted her health, the status of her bone marrow transplant, and her sexual orientation. Roberts and Amber Laign, a massage therapist, have been together since 2005.[29][30][31] Though friends and co-workers have known about her same-sex relationships, this was the first time Roberts publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation.[32][33] In 2015, she was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the 2015 LGBT History Month.[34]




  1. She Made It: Paley Center Biography of Robin Roberts
  2. "Robin Roberts Biography". Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  3. Finn, Robin (August 5, 2011). "Sunday Routine/Robin Roberts: 'Law & Order', and Riverside Walks". The New York Times.
  4. Robin Roberts Goes Back Home, ABC News, September 21, 2005.
  5. Kilmer, Wendy (April 15, 2006). "Robin Roberts enamors ACU crowd". ACU News and Events. Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  6. "Good Morning America's Roberts Flies in Honor of Her Tuskegee Airman Father". Tuskeegee University. November 18, 2003. Archived from the original on September 4, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  7. "Robin Roberts takes you back to school". Good Morning America. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  8. "Sally-Ann Roberts profile". New Orleans, LA: WWL-TV. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  9. Abernathy, Karen (July 24, 2012). "Sally-Ann on Robin Roberts: 'It's going to work out'". New Orleans, LA: WLOX-TV. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  10. Abadie, Rene (January 20, 2011). "Southeastern to honor ABC-TV's Robin Roberts with jersey retirement". Southeastern Louisiana University News Release. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  11. Austin College
  12. WCHS ABC affiliate
  13. "Mel Greenberg Media Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  14. Kelly, Paul (March 25, 2010). "'Good Morning America' Anchor Robin Roberts To Pace 2010 Indy 500". Indianopolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  15. "Women's Basketball Hall of Fame: Class of 2012 announced during the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game" (PDF) (Profile). Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  16. Robin Roberts named one of ESPNW's Impact 25,; accessed August 22, 2015.
  17. Arizona State University. "Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication". Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  18. Harris, Dan. Dan Harris Retrieved October 26, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. Good Morning America July 31, 2007
  20. Robin Roberts: I'm Going to Beat This – Yahoo
  21. "Robin Roberts causes 1,800% spike in donors!". Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  22. "Robin Roberts Schedules Bone Marrow Transplant -- Friday Is My Last Day at 'GMA'". TMZ. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  23. "Robin Roberts Moves Last Day on "GMA" Before Medical Leave to Thursday". ABC News/Yahoo! News. August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  24. Oldenburg, Ann. "Robin Roberts goes home from the hospital". USA Today. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  25. "Robin Roberts heading back to GMA on Feb. 20". Daily News. New York.
  26. 72nd Annual Peabody Awards, May 2013.
  27. "ESPN gives Robin Roberts an ESPY award for courage". Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  28. "Robin Roberts: iOS photos". Facebook. December 29, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  29. Oldenburg, Ann (April 29, 2014). "Robin Roberts shares sweet shot of girlfriend". USA Today. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  30. Hayden, Erik (December 29, 2013). "Robin Roberts Publicly Mentions Relationship With Longtime Girlfriend". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  31. Clark, Cindy (December 29, 2013). "Robin Roberts reveals same-sex relationship". USA Today. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  32. Duke, Alan (December 30, 2013). "'GMA' anchor Robin Roberts publicly acknowledges she's gay". CNN. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  33. Steinberg, Brian (December 29, 2013). "GMA's Robin Roberts Acknowledges Same-Sex Relationship In New Disclosure". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  34. Malcolm Lazin (August 20, 2015). "Op-ed: Here Are the 31 Icons of 2015's Gay History Month". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robin Roberts.
Preceded by
Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer
Good Morning America co-anchor
May 9, 2005 – present
with Charles Gibson (until June 28, 2006), Diane Sawyer (until December 11, 2009) and George Stephanopoulos (since December 14, 2009)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Saunders
ABC's Wide World of Sports host
Succeeded by
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