Television broadcasting legend Barbara Walters died on Dec 30 at 93 years old. Walters made history when she became the first woman to co-host a morning and evening newscast.
“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women,” said her representative Cindi Berger in a statement.
ABC News’ David Muir said that she was an “extraordinary human being, journalist, pioneer, legend.”
“We were all influenced by Barbara Walters. She broke barriers behind the scenes and she broke news on-camera. She got people to say things they never would’ve said to another journalist.”
Barbara Walters hosts
Walters achievements include hosting US presidents and international leaders as well as celebrities. These include Anwar Sadat, Fidel Castro, Sadam Hussein, Margaret Thatcher, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. She also won 12 Emmy awards, retiring from television in 2014 with her last show being the daytime programme The View.
“How proud I am today when I see all the young women who are making and reporting the news. If I did anything to make that happen, that’s my legacy,” said Walters on her last appearance on The View.
The View was an ABC weekday show with an all-female panel with guests ranging from teen idols to world leaders.
Walters became the first female network news anchor in 1976 with an unprecedented salary of $1 million. Her ambition was legendary and in 2004 she had said, “I never expected this, I always thought I’d be a writer for television. I never even thought I’d be in front of a camera. I never thought I’d have this kind of a life. I’ve met everyone in the world. I’ve probably met more people, more heads of state, more important people, even almost than any president, because they’ve only had eight years.”
Walters in college
Walters studied at the Sarah Lawrence College and graduated in 1943, landing her first assignment on NBC’s Today Show in 1961. She had her first interview with Rose Kennedy after the assassination of her son Robert, as well as with Princess Grace of Monaco and President Richard Nixon.
She later travelled to India with Jacqueline Kennedy and to China with Nixon and to Iran to cover the shah of Iran’s gala event.
Strangely she very often overshadowed the people she was interviewing and although the The New York Times described her as “arguably America’s best-known television personality” she also said that “what we remember most about Barbara Walters interview is Barbara Walters.”