Barbara Walters, a pioneering television journalist whose interviewing skills made her one of the most celebrated figures in broadcasting, has passed away, her publicist confirmed to CNN. She was 93 years old.
“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones. She lived a life of no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women,” the statement read. Walters spokesperson Cindy Berger told CNN in a statement.
Walters began his national broadcasting career in 1961 as a reporter, writer and panel member for NBC’s “Today” show, and was promoted to co-hdst in 1974.
With that network, Walters launched “The Barbara Walters Specials” and “10 Most Fascinating People” before becoming co-host and correspondent for ABC News’ “20/20” in 1984. The first woman since Richard and Pat Nixon.
For more than 50 years, Walters has spoken with world leaders on news programs, on her regular “Barbara Walters Special” at celebrity homes, and on her daytime talk show, “The View.” There were too many names to count. A panel of women discuss the latest headlines.
Some of the shows she has produced are among the most acclaimed of their type and have spawned many imitators. Talk” and “The Chew” and paved the way for the likes of UK’s “Loose Women” and Norway’s “Studio5”.
Walters left ‘The View’ in 2014, but remained a part-time contributor for ABC News for two years.
Walters told CNN’s Chris Cuomo at the time, “I knew the time had come.” “I love all the celebrations. It’s great, but in my heart I was like, ‘I want to leave while I’m still doing good work.’ So will I.” ”
Seeing the many women who have looked up to her throughout her career, Walters said they are her legacy.
“How do I say goodbye to 50 years of the television industry?” she said in conclusion. “How proud I am to see all the young women making and reporting the news. If I have done anything to make it happen, it is my legacy. And I can say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart to everyone who watched over me by my side. ”
Walters has been married four times to business executive Robert Katz, producer Lee Guber, and twice to entertainment mogul Marv Adelson. Her second marriage to Adelson she ended in 1992. She survives with her daughter Jackie, whom she and Guber adopted in 1968.
Walters was born in Boston on September 25, 1929. Her father, Lou, was a nightclub owner and theater impresario. Young Barbara grew up around celebrities.
Walters received his college degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1953.
Walters, who was notoriously competitive, was obsessed with pursuing large-scale “get” interviews, which led to her and another ABC news star, such as Diane Sawyer, joining the network in 1989. There was a long reported rivalry between the two. Most recently, Sawyer included Jockey for landing her first interview with Jenner, which Caitlin did in 2015.
But Walters was no slouch when it came to landing major interviews involving presidents, world leaders and just about every celebrity imaginable, and had a well-deserved reputation for bringing her subjects to tears. Highlights included a 1999 interview with Monica Lwinsky, watched by an average of 48.5 million viewers, and a historic 1977 joint roundtable discussion with Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel. increase.
Walter’s first broadcast job was on NBC’s “Today” show in the 1960s, reporting what was then perceived as a “women’s story.” In 1974, she was officially named co-anchor of the show.Two years later, she became one of television’s most famous figures, leaving Today to join ABC and star in the network’s evening newscast. She became the first woman to co-anchor, earning an astounding $1 million a year at the time.
Though her tenure in the role was short-lived – co-anchor Harry Riesner never did her any favors – she laughed for the last time, staying with the network for nearly 40 years and starring in the magazine show 20/10. 20” (with her old “Today” colleague, Hugh Downes), “The View,” countless specials.
She was parodied relentlessly on early Saturday Night Live, with Gilda Radner deriding her as an occasional foul-mouthed “Baba-Wow”, but she has won multiple Emmy Awards on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. , Peabody, Star, and a wealth of other honors.
At times seen as cocky and usually by men who questioned her outspoken attitude, she had no choice but to shrug her shoulders at criticism.
If it’s a woman, it’s acerbic. If it’s a man, it’s an authority. If it’s a woman, it’s too forceful, and if it’s a man, it’s aggressive in the best sense of the word,” she once observed.
The life of Barbara Walters in pictures