Former 11Alive reporter and Georgia Sen. Steen Miles has passed away from lung cancer, Channel 2 Action News first reported.

She was 70.

Miles worked at the NBC affiliate WXIA-TV from 1984 to 1999. She was also a MARTA spokesman and a Georgia state senator in the 2000s.

"If you've worked in media or politics in Atlanta," wrote 11Alive reporter Valerie Hoff DeCarlo on her Facebook page, "you probably knew Steen Miles. She was so kind to me when I was a beginner in Atlanta TV news, and I admired her being a risk taker and leaving TV to run for public office."

DeCarlo said Miles battled cancer "with humor, optimism and determination… Steen's death is a shock and a loss."

In an interview, former Channel 2 Action News anchor Monica Pearson called Miles "an unbelievable speaker. She could have been a preacher, she was that good. She had a strong voice and demeanor. The same qualities you saw as a legislator came through as a reporter."

Keith Whitney, who worked with her at 11Alive and is now at CBS46, called her a "bulldog" in the best sense of the word. "She was as tough as anyone you'd ever meet in the business. She was very outspoken. When other people might shy away from an uncomfortable issue, she'd speak up. She never held her tongue. Even if you didn't like her, you respected her. She was one of those people who put everything into whatever assignment she was given. She was unforgettable."

Evelyn Mims, who was the long-time community affairs specialist and producer at 11Alive, said Miles was the "Maxine Waters of the newsroom. She was a powerhouse. She was a strong woman period. Family and spiritually oriented. Her parents were ministers."

Her daughter Kellie Walker said she was former president of Jack and Jill of America, a non-profit dedicated to building African-American leaders and she was active as a minister at Green Forest Baptist Church in Decatur.

"She touched so many lives and was present with so many people in a meaningful way," Walker said. "She wanted to impact people and touch people and help people."

The biggest lesson Miles taught her daughters, Walker said, was "to love God, love my family, love my community and love myself."

According to a biography on, Miles grew up in South Bend, Ind. and worked in radio in Cincinnati and Chicago before coming to Atlanta in 1980 where she worked at United Press International as an editor before moving to 11Alive in 1984.

Kellie recalled while growing up, her mom hosted a "Coffee Talk" TV show in South Bend and a radio show as "Steen King, the Soul Queen." (Her married name at the time was King.)

Miles resided in Decatur and is survived by two daughters, Kellie and Heather and two grandchildren, William and Kellea.