Barbara Walters, pioneering American journalist and creator of The View, dead at 93

Barbara Walters, the intrepid American interviewer, anchor and host who paved the way as the first woman to become a TV news superstar during a network career notable for its length and variety, has died . She was 93 years old.

Walters’ death was announced by ABC on the air Friday night and also by his publicist.

« Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a pioneer not just for women journalists, but for all women, » publicist Cindi Berger said in a statement. .

For nearly four decades at ABC, and before that at NBC, Walters’ exclusive interviews with executives, royalty and entertainers earned her celebrity status that ranked with theirs, while placing her at the vanguard of the broadcast journalism trend that made stars into television journalists and brought news programs into the race for higher ratings.

Walters made headlines in 1976 as the women’s network’s first news anchor, with an unprecedented US$1 million annual salary that drew gasps and criticism (while lost in the outcry, her additional functions extended beyond the news).

WATCH | George Stroumboulopoulos interviews Barbara Walters:

For more than four decades, she was the queen of the mainstream television interview.

Her dynamism was legendary as she competed — not just with rival networks, but with colleagues from her own network — for every big “get” in a world jammed with more and more interviewers, including female journalists who had followed the trail she had traced.

As a highly successful side business, she created and appeared on an ABC daytime talk show, View. In May 2014, she recorded her final appearance on View to mark the end of her television career, but she later hosted occasional specials.

« I did not expect that ! » Walters said in 2004, taking the measure of his success. « I always thought I would be a TV writer. I never even thought I would be in front of a camera. »

But she was natural in front of the camera, especially when she asked questions to the notables.

« I’m not afraid when I interview, I’m not afraid! » Walters told The Associated Press in 2008.

Walters is survived by his only daughter, Jacqueline Danforth.

A group of reporters surround a person they are interviewing.
Walters interviews Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana in May 1975. (The Associated Press)


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