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Wednesday, September 18, 2019 1:00 am

Last of TV news' 4 Horsemen dies

Associated Press


Longtime reporter Cokie Roberts dies

NEW YORK – Cokie Roberts, the daughter of politicians and a pioneering journalist who chronicled Washington from Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump for NPR and ABC News, died Tuesday of complications from breast cancer. She was 75.

ABC broke into network programming to announce her death, and politicians including former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama offered sympathy.

Roberts co-anchored the ABC Sunday political show “This Week” with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002.

Roberts, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, kept working nearly to the end. She appeared on “This Week” in August, drawing enough concern about her evident weight loss that she released a statement saying “I am doing fine” and that she was looking forward to covering next year's election.

LOS ANGELES – Sander Vanocur, a television newsman who for decades covered momentous events from political campaigns to assassinations, the Vietnam War to the civil rights movement, has died, his son said Tuesday.

Vanocur died Monday night in Santa Barbara, California, said Chris Vanocur. He was 91. He had been dealing with dementia in recent years.

As national political correspondent at NBC in the 1960s, Vanocur was a questioner at the first presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960, then covered Kennedy's administration as a White House correspondent.

“His storied career put him on the front lines of the biggest political stories of the 1960s, the first stories being televised for many of us,” NBC News political director Chuck Todd said in a segment Tuesday.

Vanocur was among the last people to interview Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where he was assassinated shortly after winning the California Democratic primary in his run for president in 1968.

Vanocur was probably most familiar to TV viewers from his reporting on the floor of political conventions, including the violent 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. He and three NBC colleagues who reported on the conventions, Frank McGee, John Chancellor and Edwin Newman, became known as the Four Horsemen. Vanocur was the last survivor of the four.

He was also the last survivor of the four questioners at the Nixon-Kennedy debate and was the moderator at another historic debate in the 1984 vice presidential contest between George H.W. Bush and Geraldine Ferraro.