UNITED STATES—On Friday, December 30, television icon and news anchor, Barbara Walters died at the age of 93. According to a statement released by her representative, the New York native, “passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists but for all women.”
Barbara Jill Walters was born on September 25, 1929, to Louis (Lou) and Dena Walters. Lou was a nightclub owner and a Broadway producer. Dena was a homemaker. Barbara became independent early on.
The young Barbara Walters attended Sarah Lawrence College earning a degree in English. It was not long after that, she got a job as an affiliate of NBC. She was still in New York, working as a writer composing press releases.
Walters began her career as a journalist in 1951 and continued her work until her retirement in 2015. At the onset of her career, Walters entered the workforce in a male-dominated field. She joined ABC television as the first female news anchor in 1976 and became the co-host for the popular television news show, “20/20” in 1979.
In 1953, she began her first interviews with 15-minute segments on a children’s television program called, “Ask the Camera.” In 1955, Walters moved to CBS working as a writer for, “The Morning Show,” and in 1974 she became an official co-host of the show.
In 1976, she became the first female to host the evening news on ABC News with Harry Reasoner.
In 1995, she interviewed Christopher Reeves, better known as, Superman. The interview went down in history as one of 20/20’s highest-rated programs earning Walters the Peabody Award.
In 1997, Walters launched “The View” and co-starred on the set until 2014. She continued her limited interviews for ABC, and her work as Executive Producer of the show following her retirement.
Walters was the recipient of 12 Emmy awards, she interviewed celebrities including Clint Eastwood who would not submit to any interviews unless it was with Walters. Other famous interviews included President Jimmy and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Streisand with her boyfriend, Jon Peters and world leader Vladimir Putin.
Multiple news outlets noted Walters battle with dementia toward the end of her life.