Amy Robach, 43, is the news anchor on ABC News’ Good Morning America. She’s also a breast cancer survivor and took GMA viewers through the process, helping to bring additional awareness to the disease that is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women after skin cancer.
Robach has been a longtime presence on morning television, rising first in the NBC News ranks, then heading to ABC News in 2012. She became news anchor for GMA in March 2014. She is also the mother of two daughters and married to actor Andrew Shue.
Here’s a look at Robach’s life and career.
1. Robach’s Battle With Cancer Began With a Live Televised Mammogram
In October 2013, Robach had a live mammogram on GMA. Unbeknownst to her, that was the beginning of her cancer journey, as she revealed a month later on GMA that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors found a second malignant tumor and she had a bilateral mastectomy.
Robach later recounted her public battle in Better: How I Let Go Over Control, Held On To Hope, and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour, which was published in September 2015. In an excerpt published by ABC News, Robach wrote about how her daughters, Ava and Annalise, were instrumental in helping her get through the difficult time. Ava, who was 10 at the time, wrote a poem. Annalise, then seven, drew pictures for her.
As a journalist, she wrote, she could not stay silent about her fight. She wrote:
Despite the fact that millions of women share this awful illness, cancer can feel very isolating. I’ve found over this past year that every time I share my story, other women share theirs, and a beautiful connection is made. It’s been a tremendous source of comfort for me, and it’s the reason I decided to write this book. As a journalist, I’m much more interested in telling the story than in being the story. But the fact is, I didn’t really have a choice about going public with my illness—I was tested on live television as a public service, and keeping quiet about the rest of my experience just felt wrong.
2. Robin Roberts Helped Convince Robach to Have the Mammogram on Live Television
In Better, Robach revealed that it was fellow GMA anchor Robin Roberts who convinced her to have the mammogram on live television. Roberts also survived breast cancer and the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome.
According to The Washington Post, Robach first told Roberts that she woudln’t do it because it would have felt like a stunt to help ratings. At the time, Robach didn’t have a connection to breast cancer and really worried that it would look like she was “trying to grab the limelight.”
“Amy, that’s the whole point. Listen. Nobody knows better than I do how uncomfortable it can be having people watching you go through something medical,” Robert told her, Robach recalled in her book. “But the power of saving even one life is so remarkable, you’ll never regret it. And I can pretty much guarantee it will save a life. Just by you walking into that mammovan and demystifying this test, someone will find out they have cancer who wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Then Roberts told her, “Amy, 80 percent of women who have breast cancer have no family history.”
That helped convince Robach to have the mammogram on television.
3. Robach’s Sister-In-Law is Elisabeth Shue
Actress Elisabeth Shue, who starred in Back to the Future, Cocktail and CSI, is Robach’s sister in law. Robach’s second husband is Andrew Shue, who starred on Melrose Place as Billy Campbell. He also had an uncredited bit part in Cocktail.
Shue and Robach married in 2010. He is the father of three sons from his previous marriage, Nate, Aidan and Wyatt. Robach was previously married to Tim McIntosh from 1996 to 2008.
In an interview with People Magazine in September 2015, Robach revealed that her cancer battle was a test on their marriage.
“We were learning how to live with each other and raise kids together,” Robach told the magazine. “This was not something I would wish on anyone’s marriage, but I think it was especially hard on a newer marriage. All of a sudden I felt like I needed him in a very needy way, and that’s not my personality… When I had my crisis I completely crumbled. It threw everything up in the air. It was rough for several months.”
4. She Was a Miss Georgia Runner-Up in 1994
Robach was born in Michigan, but she grew up in Georgia, graduating from Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia and the University of Georgia with a broadcast journalism degree. According to a 2011 Gwinnett Citizen profile, Robach also competed for the Miss Georgia title in 1994, coming in fourth place. She did win the Miss Grinnett County title that year.
After graduating from college, she started her career in Charleston, South Carolina at WCBD-TV. She then worked at WTTG-TV in Washington, DC and that’s where she gained the attention of NBC. She started at MSNBC before eventually climbing up the ladder to Today Show national correspondent and Weekend Today co-anchor.
“My dream job is to host a national weekday morning show,” Robach told the Gwinnett Citizen. She’s certainly reached that goal.
5. Robach Had the First Interview With Robin Williams’ Widow After His Death
Robach was enlisted by ABC News to interview Susan Schneider in November 2015. It was first time Schneider sat down for an interview after her husband, comedian Robin Williams, committed suicide.
The journalist asked Schneider if Williams ever told her that he didn’t want to live. She said Williams never did.
“I mean, he was sick and tired of what was going on, absolutely … and when he got the Parkinson’s diagnosis, you know, I mean, in one sense, it was like this is it,” Schneider told Robach. “This is what we’ve been — we’ve been chasing something, now we found it. And we felt the sense of release and relief. But also, like, ‘Oh my god, what does this mean?’ Okay?'”