Today, people are mourning the loss of one of the most influential journalists in history – Barbara Walters. The trailblazer and pioneer of the journalism industry passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones at the age of 93 on December 30, 2022.
“Barbara Walters was a true legend,” said Robert Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, in a statement. “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.”
Walters’ impressive career began in 1953 when she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She quickly took a job writing for CBS’ morning program, and later in 1974, she became the first woman to ever host NBC’s “Today” after more than a decade at the network. In 1976, she broke another barrier when she became the first woman to ever anchor the evening news on a major network with a $1 million contract from ABC.
Walters was also the co-host of “20/20” from 1979 until she stepped down in 2004. But perhaps her most prized endeavor was launching “The View” in 1997. The morning talk show featured a diverse cast of voices sharing a roundtable discussion on politics, entertainment, family, and other hot topics. Walters sat at the table for 17 years until she retired in 2014 and became an executive producer.
Throughout her career, Walters earned numerous awards and accolades including four Emmys and one Lifetime Achievement award. In addition to her groundbreaking career, Walters was also a wife and a mother. She was married four times and adopted a baby girl in 1968.
Walters will be remembered for her groundbreaking journalism career, her warm and inviting personality, and her ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Her legacy will live on in the countless lives she touched.