Longtime News Broadcaster Barbara Walters Dies at 93
A staple for TV broadcast news for most of the format’s existence, and the standard for one-on-one interviews, Barbara Walters has died at the age of 93.
From ABC News, where she spent most of her career:
Walters joined ABC News in 1976, becoming the first female anchor on an evening news program. Three years later, she became a co-host of “20/20,” and in 1997, she launched “The View.”
Barbara Walters’ Memorable Interviews Through the Years
Bob Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company which is the parent company of ABC News, praised Walters as someone who broke down barriers.
“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself. She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state to the biggest celebrities and sports icons. I had the pleasure of calling Barbara a colleague for more than three decades, but more importantly, I was 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,” Iger said in a statement Friday.
In a career that spanned five decades, Walters won 12 Emmy awards, 11 of those while at ABC News.
She made her final appearance as a co-host of “The View” in 2014, but remained an executive producer of the show and continued to do some interviews and specials for ABC News.
“I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain,” she said at the time. “I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men too — who will be taking my place.”
Barbara Jill Walters was born in Boston on Sept. 25, 1929, to Dena and Louis “Lou” Walters. Her father worked in show business as a booking agent and nightclub producer, and discovered comedians Fred Allen and Jack Haley, who would go on to star as the Tin Man in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.”
Growing up around celebrities taught a young Barbara a lesson that she relied upon throughout her career.
“I would see them onstage looking one way and offstage often looking very different. I would hear my parents talk about them and know that even though those performers were very special people, they were also human beings with real-life problems,” Walters said in a 1989 interview with the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences. “I can have respect and admiration for famous people, but I have never had a sense of fear or awe.”