UT MD Anderson Slates San Antonio A Conversation With a Living Legend®

Luncheon Honoring Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson Benefits Cancer Research, Patient Care

MD Anderson News Release 11/11/11

Veteran journalists Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson will be the topic of conversation at the second annual A Conversation With a Living Legend®, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Former CNN News Group CEO Tom Johnson will interview Roberts and Donaldson in an exclusive onstage interview benefiting innovative research and patient care initiatives at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, including the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program.

Joining luncheon chairs Kim and Clyde Johnson IV and Paula and Clyde Johnson  III are Peggy and Lowry Mays and Charline and Red McCombs as honorary hosts. This year, additional luncheon co-chairs are Courtney and Brad Duphorne, Jolie and Meade Flavin, Heather and Judd Kraft and Margye and McCann Northington.

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. From 1996 to 2002, she and Donaldson co-anchored the ABC interview program “This Week.” Roberts also serves as senior news analyst for National Public Radio.

In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, Roberts has won multiple 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 broadcasting history.

Cokie Roberts has written a number of best-selling books, including “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters.” She holds more than 25 honorary degrees, serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions, and was on President Bush’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. In 2008, the Library of Congress named her a “Living Legend.” Roberts is the mother of two and grandmother of six.

Sam Donaldson has been a Washington political reporter for more than 50 years, the past 44 as an ABC correspondent/anchor.

Donaldson began covering presidential campaigns in 1964, when he was assigned to Barry Goldwater’s campaign. With one exception, he has covered every major party national political convention from 1964 to the present.

Donaldson was the network’s Capitol Hill correspondent in the 1960s and served as its White House Correspondent during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton. He was a regular participant on the network’s Sunday program “This Week” with David Brinkley and later co-anchored it with Roberts. He also co-anchored the network’s magazine program “Primetime Live” with Diane Sawyer.

Donaldson’s native state is New Mexico, where he manages the family farming and ranching business, which his father established in 1910 in the New Mexico territory.

Donaldson and his wife Jan Smith Donaldson live in McLean, Va. and Hondo, N.M.

Tom Johnson, a native of Macon, Ga., attended Macon public schools, the University of Georgia and Harvard University.

Johnson’s career began during his internship at The Macon Telegraph. He later served as a White House fellow, deputy White House press secretary and executive assistant to former President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1971, he was named executive vice president of Texas Broadcasting Corporation.

Johnson became editor of the Dallas Times Herald in 1973 and was promoted two years later to publisher and chief executive officer. In 1977, he was named president of the Los Angeles Times, rising to the position of publisher in 1980. In 1990, Johnson became president of CNN. He later was promoted to chairman and chief executive officer of the CNN News Group. He retired in 2001 and lives in Atlanta with his wife of 47 years, Edwina.

Since 1990, A Conversation With a Living Legend® has raised more than $14 million for research and patient care initiatives at MD Anderson through events in Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.

For more information, call 866-262-9029 or email events@mdanderson.org.