American TV pioneer Barbara Walters dies at 93

American journalist Barbara Walters, the first woman to present an evening newscast in the United States, has died at the age of 93, her longtime employer, ABC, announced on Friday.

This legend of the American audiovisual landscape had said goodbye in 2014, with a « see you soon » in French, after more than 50 years of television. She was then 84 years old.

The American network did not give the cause of death or specify where Barbara Walters died.

Until then, Barbara Walters had interviewed all the American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, foreign leaders such as Saddam Hussein, Anouar el-Sadat and Fidel Castro, the Dalai Lama and other celebrities such as Bette Davis and Angelina Jolie.

She became a celebrity herself in the American news world, especially on the daily show The View which she had created in 1997 on ABC.

The journalist had won 12 Emmys, all but one while with ABC, the channel added.

When she left in 2014, she said she was happy to have been a pioneer in a profession long reserved for men. Hillary Clinton had come to pay her respects, as well as television host and producer Oprah Winfrey and about twenty women television journalists.

In 1976, she was the first woman to present the evening news ABC Evening Newsearning a then-unprecedented salary of $1 million a year.

Two years earlier, she had co-hosted a morning program on NBC. But it had been a “flop”, recalled Barbara Walters 40 years later. « My male co-host didn’t want a partner [féminine] nor the public.

She then imposed herself by her unique style interviews, from Vladimir Poutine to Michael Jackson via Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi.

Her greatest pride was to have contributed to the arrival of women journalists on television. « If I did anything to help with that, it’s my legacy, » she said again in 2014.

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