About / Biographies

Betty Rollin

Contributing Correspondent

Award-winning journalist and acclaimed author Betty Rollin began her television career in 1973 as a correspondent for NBC NEWS where she reported on human interest stories for TODAY and NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, including a series on the American Indians of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, which won both the Alfred I. duPont and Emmy Award.

From 1982-84, Rollin served as a contributing correspondent for ABC NEWS NIGHTLINE. She left that position to write “Last Wish” detailing the suicide of her terminally ill mother. One critic called the best-selling book, published in 1985 and again in 1999, “a document of personal compassion and public importance,” and it became an ABC TV movie in 1992 starring Patty Duke and Maureen Stapleton. In addition, Rollin authored five other books, including “First, You Cry,” a personal account of her battle with breast cancer and subsequent mastectomy. Published in 1976 and recently republished in honor of the author’s 25th “cancer anniversary,” it also received wide critical acclaim and was made into a television movie with Mary Tyler Moore playing the title role. Rollin’s most recent book, “Here’s the Bright Side: Of Failure, Fear, Cancer, Divorce and Other Bum Raps,” was published by Random House in 2007.

Prior to her career in television, Betty Rollin was an associate feature editor and staff writer for Vogue magazine. Until 1971, she served as a senior editor for Look magazine and has been a contributing writer for several national publications, among them The New York Times. Since 1997, Rollin has been a contributing correspondent for RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY where she has been honored with the prestigious Gracie Allen Award, the CINE Golden Eagle, the New York Festival Award, and the Wilbur Award for “Impossible Choices.” This report also received a Silver Angel Award from Excellence in Media along with her segment on “Faith and Family in America: Religion and Parenting.”  Rollin also garnered a Bronze Apple Award from the National Education Media Network for “Black Women Preachers.”

A native New Yorker, Rollin is a graduate of Fieldston Ethical Culture School in Riverdale, New York and Sarah Lawrence College. She lives with her husband, Dr. Harold M. Edwards, a mathematician, in Manhattan.