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Robin Roberts, the award-winning anchor of “Good Morning America” on ABC News, will be the 2014 recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, Arizona State University announced today.
Roberts will accept the 31st annual award, given by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, at a luncheon ceremony Oct. 6 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.
“I’m truly humbled to join the list of remarkable journalists who have received the Walter Cronkite Award,” said Roberts. “I'm honored to be selected and look forward to spending time with the students at Arizona State University. I know we're all in great hands with this next generation of journalists.”
Roberts was named co-anchor of “Good Morning America” in 2005, leading the broadcast to the top of the morning show ratings and three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program. With more than 20 years of broadcasting experience, she has conducted interviews with newsmakers that include President Barack Obama, Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
From 1990-2005, Roberts was a contributor to ESPN, serving as one of the network’s most versatile commentators. Her assignments included anchoring “SportsCenter” and contributing to “NFL Primetime.” She also served as a contributor to “Good Morning America” while working at ESPN.
Recently, Roberts faced public battles with a rare bone marrow disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome in 2012 and breast cancer in 2007. For her courageous spirit, she has been recognized with awards and honors, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS and the prestigious Peabody Award for “Robin’s Journey” in 2013.
Roberts has reported on news around the globe, including a trip to Africa with former President Bill Clinton for a first-hand look at the AIDS crisis. She also played an important role in the coverage of the 2008 presidential election and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Roberts graduated with a communications degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1983. She was a standout performer on the women’s basketball team, ending her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder.
Roberts started her broadcasting career in college at WHMD/WFPR radio in Hammond, Louisiana, where she was the sports director. From there, she worked in sports broadcasting for television stations in Mississippi, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta before joining ESPN.
She is the recipient of numerous broadcast awards and is the author of two books, “Everybody's Got Something” and “From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By.”
“Robin Roberts’ outstanding contributions to our profession, and the great personal courage she has demonstrated, make her the perfect recipient for this year’s Cronkite Award,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are excited for our students, alumni, supporters and friends to hear her inspirational story and celebrate her career.”
Other Cronkite Award recipients include TV anchors Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw; newspaper journalists Ben Bradlee, Helen Thomas and Bob Woodward; and media executives Katharine Graham, Al Neuharth and Bill Paley. Cronkite personally presented the award during its first quarter-century. The CBS News anchor died in 2009.
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, named in Cronkite’s honor in 1984, prepares the next generation of journalists in both the time-honored fundamentals embraced by Cronkite and the multimedia skills necessary to thrive as journalists in the digital age.
Housed in a $71 million state-of-the-art media complex in downtown Phoenix, the school has been featured in both The New York Times and The Times of London as a leader in 21st century journalism education. It is the home of the Carnegie-Knight News 21 initiative, the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, Cronkite News Service, Cronkite NewsWatch, the New Media Innovation Lab, the Cronkite Public Relations Lab, Cronkite Sports and the Public Insight Network Bureau.