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Cokie Roberts commemorates first lady Betty Ford's 98th birthday

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Wednesday commemorated first lady Betty Ford’s 98th Birthday. NPR and ABC News political commentator and author, Cokie Roberts, was in Grand Rapids Wednesday honoring Ford during a luncheon at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

WGVU visited with Roberts.

Cokie Roberts family and the Fords have shared a long lasting friendship. Her father hale and mother Lindy Boggs served in the U.S. House of Representatives. I spoke with Cokie Roberts about that friendship and celebrating betty Ford.

“My mother and Betty Ford were really quite close and you don’t see that in Washington today and I think it’s important to talk about. Betty Ford was an extraordinary human being who, I would say, has affected hundreds of thousands of lives if not millions. And to be able to honor her is really a special thing to me.”

Betty Ford publically talked about her battle with breast cancer at a time when it was rarely discussed. As first lady she had a voice advocating for mammograms and improved treatment. Cokie Roberts is also a breast cancer survivor and supporter of breast cancer research.   

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.