Robin Roberts Bio

A photo of ABC's Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts.
Robin Roberts may have spent her early career covering sports, but she's found much success and praise in making the transition to morning television. Photo © Robin Marchant / Getty Images

Current Media Position:

Robin Roberts is co-anchor of ABC's .

Significance to the Media Industry:

Robin Roberts is credited with helping Good Morning America rise to compete with NBC's once-dominant Today show in the Nielsen ratings. She brings a unique background to the position.

Roberts spent most of her career covering the competitive world of sports, not the softer, warm stories found on morning TV news.

She was also a top athlete -- setting records as a women's basketball player when she was a student at Southeastern Louisiana University.

But she's successfully made the transition to news. On Good Morning America, she's interviewed world leaders and reported on top health issues. Roberts even hosted a prime time special on country music from Nashville, Tennessee, and an Academy Awards preview special. She has forged a unique identity despite the sameness that often describes morning news programs.

Robin Roberts' Early Career:

Robin Roberts would easily earn the respect of anyone working in local television. That's because she also slowly climbed the ladder, rising from small DMA stations on her way to the network.

Roberts first worked in radio while in college. Then she made the move to TV sports in 1983, working at WDAM in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and later for WLOX in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Her first big station was WSMV in Nashville, where she won a "Sportscaster of the Year" award in 1987. Then it was off to the big leagues of Atlanta, Georgia, which has a full range of professional sports to cover. She anchored sports at WAGA, while also becoming a morning radio personality for a local station.

That put Roberts in a prime spot for ESPN to notice her. She landed at the cable TV sports network in 1990.

Because of the Disney ownership connection between ESPN and ABC, Roberts was able to work for ESPN while also contributing to Good Morning America. That started in 1995. Finally, in 2005, she was named co-anchor of Good Morning America, where she was already familiar and much admired.

Career Highlights:

Robin Roberts was dealt two very personal blows. Despite the difficulties she faced, they both have to be considered career highlights.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, where she grew up, and Louisiana, where she went to college. Roberts' hometown of Pass Christian, Mississippi, was especially hard hit.

While countless other journalists also rushed to the scene of the devastation, Roberts' coverage was much more personal because she knew the area and its people. Not only did she set up a campaign to rebuild Pass Christian, she's returned to the area to produce follow-up stories, long after other reporters had left.

Her own health concerns have also made news, which have created a special bond with viewers. In 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Instead of retreating from the public eye, she decided to stop wearing a wig on TV after she lost her hair.

Her battle brought her much praise and several awards.

In 2012, she announced that she was faced with a rare bone marrow disease. As with breast cancer, Roberts was very open with her health struggles. She underwent a bone marrow transplant and was off the air while undergoing treatment. She was able to return to TV five months after getting the transplant. Her televised medical journey, which raised awareness and encouraged people to join a bone marrow donor registry won a Peabody Award.

Personal Information:

Robin Roberts was born on November 23, 1960. She grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi, as one of her parents' four children. Her father was a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. A sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, is an anchor at WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans.

Roberts earned her degree in communications from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1983.

Her achievements on the basketball court led the university to retire her jersey.