Barbara Walters, legendary journalist and TV icon, dead at 93

By Latifah Muhammad‍,

Barbara Walters, the legendary Emmy Award-winning pioneer of broadcast journalism and co-creator of « The View, » has died. She was 93 years old.

ABC News confirmed the news on Friday. No cause of death was given. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney tweeted that Walters died Friday night at her New York home.

Throughout her more than 50-year career, Walter has become a broadcast staple, leading ABC News’ « Today, » « 20/20, » « The View, » and her annual « Most Fascinating People » special. « , while simultaneously paving the way for other women journalists.

Making a name for himself in a male-dominated industry became an unspoken routine for Walters who began working for « 20/20 » in 1978. Joining the newsmagazine reunited Walters with his former « Today » co-host « , Hugh Downs, and solidified what became his legacy.

Walters was born on September 25, 1929 in Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up in Boston, Miami and New York, the latter city where she launched her career as a journalist in the early 1950s.

A year after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, Walters landed a job in the advertising department of NBC affiliate WNBT-TV. She moved on to WPIX, before becoming a writer on CBS’s « The Morning Show » in 1955. Walters then joined « Today » as a regular writer and correspondent. She became the long-running morning show’s first female co-anchor in 1974, following the death of presenter Frank McGee.

Two years later, Walters joined ABC Evening News as a co-anchor to Harry Reasoner with whom she had a difficult working relationship because he didn’t want a co-anchor. By the late ’70s, Walters had transitioned to « 20/20 » and slowly became the face of the news program landing memorable interviews that offered a mix of hard-hitting interviews with controversial world leaders like Fidel Castro, the President Richard Nixon. , former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Palestinian Yasir Arafat and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; to celebrity dating with Katherine Hepburn, Christopher Reeve, Angelina Jolie, Sir Laurence Olivier and countless others.

In 1997, Walters made his return to morning television with the premiere of « The View ». Although directed by Walters, the show launched with original Star Jones co-hosts Debbie Matenopoulos, Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar. Whoopi Goldberg and Sheri Shepherd joined the show in 2007, followed by Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and later Jenny McCarthy and Raven Symone. All of the aforementioned co-hosts are gone Viewwith the exception of Goldberg and Behar.

Meanwhile, Walters made TV history again in 1999, when a record 74 million viewers tuned in to watch his « 20/20 » interview with Monica Lewinsky. In 2010, Walters underwent open-heart surgery, but health scares didn’t stall his career. At that time, Walters was an iconic figure and continued as co-host and executive producer of « The View » until her official retirement in 2014.

In « The View’s » more than 20 years on the air, the series has seen a revolving door of co-hosts and continued rumors of behind-the-scenes tension. Walters brushed off many reports by not responding or denying the many differences between her and the other co-hosts.

Although Walters ended her run as co-host of « 20/20 » in 2004, she remained on board as a part-time contributor for ABC News until 2016. She also returned several times. to « The View » as a special guest.

Walters has received many accolades over the years, including her induction into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. in 2009.

Despite being such a public figure, Walters kept details of her personal life tightly guarded until the 2008 release of her best-selling memoir. Hearing. In the book, Walters gave details about his family dynamics, his career, admitted to having a Massachusetts senator Edward R. Brooke and spoke about his relationship with Alan Greenspan, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Walters was married four times, first to business executive Robert Henry Katz in 1955. The union ended after just under a year. In 1963, Walters married producer, Lee Guber, and adopted a daughter, Jacqueline, in 1968. Walters and Guber separated in 1976. After her second marriage ended, Walters married television producer and real estate developer , Merv Adelson, from 1981 until 1984. The couple remarried in 1986, divorcing for the last time in 1992.

Walters is survived by his daughter, Jacqueline.


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