Lucimarian Roberts, 88, the mother of “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts, died Aug. 30 in Gulfport, Miss. Jeffrey W. Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News, confirmed the death but provided no further details.
The announcement of the death also was made Friday on “Good Morning America.”
Over the years, Mrs. Roberts made numerous appearances on “GMA.”
She was a Gulf Coast icon for more than four decades. She was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Mississippi Board of Education in the 1980s and worked with other state and local agencies.
Mrs. Roberts collaborated with her daughter on a book titled, “My Story, My Song — Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith.”
“I sing because the music of the church speaks my soul language,” she wrote. “I sing because these songs are tightly woven in to the texture of who I am.”
Mrs. Roberts’s death came on the same day Robin Roberts said goodbye to her co-workers and audience before starting her medical leave to receive a bone-marrow transplant. She said this summer that she had myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder that affects the bone marrow. She was treated for breast cancer five years ago.
Sally-Ann Roberts, a morning anchor at WWL-TV in New Orleans, is donating the marrow to her sister. The sisters traveled to a flooded Mississippi to visit their mother before her death. Mississippi and neighboring states were dealing with flooding from Hurricane Isaac.
Mrs. Roberts’s husband of 57 years, retired Air Force Col. Lawrence E. Roberts, died in 2004. He was a member of the all-black World War II flying unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
Survivors include four children and eight grandchildren.
— News services and staff reports