Barbara Walters dead: The legendary journalist was 93

Walters changed the course of morning, evening and daytime television during her six-decade career.

Barbara Walters, the pioneering journalist who changed the course of the morning, evening and daytime news during a 60-year television career, has died at the age of 93. The news was announced late Friday night by Disney CEO Bob Iger.

“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not only for women in journalism but for journalism itself,” said Iger wrote on his Twitter account. “She was a unique reporter who received many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state and regime leaders to the biggest celebrities and sports icons. I’ve had the pleasure of calling Barbara a colleague for more than three decades, but more importantly, I’ve been able to call her a dear friend. She will be missed by all of us at The Walt Disney Company and we send our deepest condolences to her daughter Jacqueline.”

Born in Boston in 1929, Walters rose to prominence in the early 1960s as a contributor to The Today Show, where she frequently produced and appeared in female interest segments. Her appearances became more frequent, and she was eventually named the official co-host of the morning show in 1974, making her the first woman to hold that title.

Walters soon turned her attention to evening news programs and made history again when she became the first female co-anchor of ABC Evening News in 1976. She held that position until 1978, and the job established a decade-long relationship between Walters and ABC News. She began contributing stories to the ABC news magazine 20/20 in 1979 and remained associated with the show until her retirement in 2015.

Walters quickly became known as one of America’s most prominent interviewers, sitting down with world leaders from Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin to several United States Presidents. Not limited to politics, she also interviewed cultural figures such as Michael Jackson and Katherine Hepburn.

While continuing to do interviews for “20/20,” Walters served as co-creator, executive producer and co-host of “The View” in 1997. The panel show, which famously featured women from across the political spectrum giving their opinions on the day’s news, went on to become one of the most successful daytime talk shows of all time. Walters hosted the show until 2014 and retained executive producer credit until her death.

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Lindsay Lowe

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