Political commentator Cokie Roberts to deliver Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture

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August 12, 2013

Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts, photo credit: ABC, Inc.

Video of Lecture | Minnesota Public Radio Rebroadcast

Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC News, will deliver the seventh annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture titled "Conscience and Courage in Public Life" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater on the Saint John's University campus.

It is sponsored by the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John's University, with additional support from the Saint John's University Chair in Critical Thinking, serving the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.

As a political commentator for ABC News, Roberts provides analysis for all network news programming. From 1996-2002 she and Sam Donaldson co-anchored the weekly ABC interview program This Week. Roberts also serves as senior news analyst for National Public Radio. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys.  She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country by United Media.  The Roberts are also contributing editors to USA Weekend Magazine, and in 2011 they published "Our Haggadah, Uniting Traditions for Interfaith Families." Their earlier collaboration, "From this Day Forward," an account of their more than 40-year marriage and other marriages in American history, immediately went onto The New York Times bestseller list. All of Cokie Roberts's other books have also been best sellers, including the No. 1 best seller, "We Are Our Mothers' Daughters," an account of women's roles and relationships throughout American history. Her other best-selling books - "Founding Mothers," published in 2004 and "Ladies of Liberty" in 2008 - are histories of women in America's founding era.

Roberts holds more than 25 honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions and was on President George W. Bush's Commission on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008, the Library of Congress named her a "Living Legend," one of the very few Americans to have attained that honor. She is the mother of two and grandmother of six.         

The Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture was established in January 2006. McCarthy spent seven years as a student at Saint John's Preparatory School and University, and nearly one year as a member of the Benedictine community of Saint John's Abbey.

The lecture series carries on McCarthy's deep commitment to the ideals and principles of democratic self-government. It seeks to inspire a new generation of young people to pursue fresh ideas, to challenge the status quo, to effect positive change in their communities and, like McCarthy himself, to lead with honesty, integrity and courage.

Past lecturers in the series have included newspaper columnist, author and commentator E.J. Dionne (2007); civil rights leader Julian Bond (2008); current Secretary of Defense and former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (2009); Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (2010); columnist and political analyst Mark Shields (2011); and journalist Tom Brokaw (2012).