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Deborah Roberts

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Information about Deborah Roberts

Profile image of Deborah Roberts

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television News Reporter
Television News Correspondent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Southern France
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
9/20/1960
Birth Location:
Perry, Georgia

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television News Reporter
Television News Correspondent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Southern France
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
9/20/1960
Birth Location:
Perry
See how Deborah Roberts is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

One of the top black women in broadcast journalism, Deborah Roberts has worked as an anchor, a talk show host, and a reporter. Born on September 20, 1960 in the small town of Perry, Georgia, Roberts was one of nine children. Her father, Ben Roberts, owned a carpet installation business. Even as a girl, Roberts admired television newscasters and dreamed of making it big. She attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1982 with her B.A. degree in journalism.

After graduating from college, Roberts began working at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Georgia. She later worked in Knoxville, Tennessee for a time, and then, in 1987, moved to WFTV-TV, ABC-TV’s Orlando affiliate. In Orlando, Roberts became a bureau chief and served as the station’s field anchor at NASA during shuttle launches. She also co-anchored the weekend news. The Orlando Sentinel named Roberts the top local female anchor.

In 1990, Roberts began working for NBC news as a general assignment reporter for the Atlanta and Miami bureaus. She traveled to the Middle East in the wake of the Gulf War. In 1992, she went to Barcelona to cover the Summer Olympics and her coverage later garnered her a Sports Emmy. Later that year, when NBC started the newsmagazine Dateline NBC, Roberts was picked as a reporter for the show. She also worked as substitute anchor on the evening news. After five years at NBC, three of them with Dateline NBC, Roberts returned to ABC, as a correspondent for Dateline NBC’s rival show, 20/20. In her time on 20/20, Roberts has reported on such varied topics as sexual abuse in the Amish community, the plight of refugees in Rwanda and manic depression in young children. She did a segment on the emotional journey of African Americans returning to the places in Africa where their ancestors were held as slaves as well as an interview with baseball’s Darryl Strawberry exploring the destructiveness of alcohol abuse. She has also worked as a substitute anchor on other ABC shows, including Good Morning America and World News Weekend. Roberts’ work is widely acclaimed, and she has received the Clarion Award for excellence in communications.

Roberts married NBC weatherman Al Roker in 1995. The couple now lives in New York City with their children.

Roberts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 26, 2007.

See how Deborah Roberts is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Roberts' interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts remembers her neighborhood in Perry, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts describes the sights and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts remembers her home life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Deborah Roberts describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Deborah Roberts describes segregation in the South
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Deborah Roberts remembers New Hope Baptist Church in Perry, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Deborah Roberts recalls the beginning of school integration in Perry, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts recalls integrating Perry Elementary School in Perry, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts talks about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts recalls joining the cheerleading squad
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts remembers instances of interracial dating
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts recalls instances of skin color discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts remembers her teacher, Dorothy Hardy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts describes her experiences as a cheerleader
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts recalls her decision to attend the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts recalls her first impression of the University of Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts describes her early interest in television journalism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts describes her early career aspiration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts remembers her first reporting job
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts describes the beginning of her journalism career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts remembers becoming a NBC correspondent
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts recalls her work as a NBC News correspondent
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts remembers her assignment to Kuwait, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts describes lessons that she learned as a correspondent
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts talks about working with Tom Brokaw at NBC News
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts remembers joining the ABC News program, '20/20'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts recalls travelling to Kuwait
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts remembers reporting on the Persian Gulf War in Kuwait, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts remembers reporting on the Persian Gulf War in Kuwait, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts describes the management hierarchy of television networks
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Deborah Roberts' interview, session 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts remembers the University of Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts remembers her journalism professors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts recalls joining NBC News in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes her early career at NBC News
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts remembers her assignment in Kuwait, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts recalls returning to NBC News in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts describes how she met Al Roker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts remembers her early friendship with Al Roker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts talks about making mistakes on the air
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts describes her early attraction to Al Roker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts remembers her transition to ABC News
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts talks about Barbara Walters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes the ABC News magazine show, '20/20'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts recalls interviewing Rosa Parks
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts remembers her '20/20' assignment to Ethiopia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts recalls reporting on the Rwandan genocide
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts remembers her trip to Ethiopia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts describes her experiences in Ethiopia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts remembers Lydia Dawson's reunion with her mother in Ethiopia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts recalls experiencing the culture in Ethiopia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts describes the reaction to her segment, "Her Lost World"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts talks about the impact of her segment, "Her Lost World"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes her introduction to news anchoring
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts talks about balancing motherhood with her career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts talks about her family life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts describes her social life in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts talks about her fundraising campaigns
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts talks about the importance of hands-on parenting
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts talks about Al Roker's gastric bypass surgery, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts talks about Al Roker's gastric bypass surgery, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts talks about protecting her family's privacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Deborah Roberts describes the progression of news media
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Deborah Roberts talks about the Internet's impact for news media
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Deborah Roberts describes her ABC News career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Deborah Roberts talks about Katie Couric transition to anchor of 'CBS Evening News'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Deborah Roberts reflects upon her career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Deborah Roberts talks about retirement
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Deborah Roberts describes her hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Deborah Roberts shares advice to aspiring African American journalists
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Deborah Roberts reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Deborah Roberts describes how she would like to be remembered