Walters was the network’s first female co-host of an evening news program, launched a popular daytime talk show, and broke the glass ceiling for women on television news.
NEW YORK – Barbara Walters, the legendary journalist best known for being the network’s first female co-host on an evening news show, for publishing her celebrity interview specials, and for launching one of the most popular daytime talk shows, has died. according to ABC News. She was 93.
Barbara Jill Walters was born on September 25, 1929 in Boston. Walters had two siblings. Her brother Burton died of pneumonia in 1932. Her sister Jacqueline was developmentally disabled and died in 1985.
She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
After working at an NBC affiliate station, Walters made her way to CBS and eventually as a writer on NBC’s TODAY show. She would work her way up the ladder to co-host the program with Hugh Downs.
It was in 1976 that Walters made history when he signed a deal with ABC to become the network’s first woman to host an evening news program. At $1 million a year, she was also television’s highest-paid journalist.
In 1979 she took on a new role – correspondent for ABC’s news magazine 20/20. Five years later she became a co-host, again with Hugh Downs.
Aside from her journalistic skills, Walters was known for her interview style, which involved very direct questions no matter who she was speaking to. That made her primetime”Barbara Walters Specials“Highly interesting to watch as she would pull a few punches with celebrity guests and other notable figures in the world.”
Walters interviewed Presidents and First Ladies from the Nixons to the Obamas. She also spoke to hardline leaders such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
In 1977 she interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Two years later, Begin and Sadat would sign a historic peace treaty. She also interviewed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Dalai Lama.
She was the first personInterview actor Christopher Reeveafter the horseback riding accident in 1995 that left him paralyzed. In 1999 she got the first interviewformer White House intern Monica Lewinskywho had an affair with President Bill Clinton.
In 1997, while “20/20” was still going on, Walters started another project, “The View”. She created a daytime talk show with an all-female hosting panel.
“I’ve always wanted to do a show with women of different generations, backgrounds and views,” Walters said in the opening episode of the first episode. “A working mother (Meredith Vieira). A pro in his thirties (Star Jones). A 22-year-old just getting started (Debbie Matenopolous). And then someone who has done almost anything and will say almost anything (Joy Behar). “
Walters would join if she wanted, but made fewer appearances on the show while the hosting roster was constantly changing.
In 2014, Walters retired from The View and broadcast messages.
Walters won three Emmys, once for hosting TODAY and twice for The View. She was also recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Academy.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Walters got it thanks to the comic relief of “Saturday Night Live.”Gilda Radner’s Baba Wawain the late 1970s was a loosely based version by Walters. Two decades later, “SNL’s” Cheri Oteri would take a more direct take and tick Walter’s manners. It culminated with this segment ofWalters Interviews Oteri (as Walters)in her final episode of “The View”.
“It may be that my career was just too important. It may be that getting married to me was difficult and I just seem better off alone. I’m not lonely, I’m alone,” she said.
Walters revealed that she suffered multiple miscarriages. She adopted a baby girl with her then-husband Lee Gruber. They named her Jackie after Walters’ sister. Walterssaid Piers Morgan in 2013that she regretted not having more children.
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/barbara-walters-obit-dead-at-93/507-abeffeef-4d3d-46ac-b882-44003e580d64 Barbara Walters dies at the age of 93