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Broadcast Journalist & TV Icon Barbara Walters Passes Away

December 30, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Barbara Walters Image Credit: PBS

Barbara Walters, the icon who became a force in the world of broadcast journalism, has passed away. ABC News reports that Walters passed away on Friday at the age of 93. Details surrounding her passing were not revealed.

Walters worked in the field of journalist for over 60 years, breaking the glass ceiling for women in the industry and becoming one of the go-to people within the field. Her career included decades as a news anchor and interviewer, the creation of such shows or specials as The View and Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People, and much more. Walters was nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning one, and 21 Daytime Emmy Awards with three wins.

Born in 1929 in Boston, Massachusetts, Walters to booking agent and nightclub producer Lou Walters and his wife Dana, Walters began her career as a publicist at NBC’s New York affiliate in 1951. She began to produce and write for television in the early 1950s before she joined The Today Show as a researcher and writer in 1961. She was moved into an on-screen role as the “Today Girl,” doing weather and other assignments, before working her way into a position as a reporter-at-large. She would develop, write, and edit her own reports and was eventually promoted to be the show’s first female co-host in 1974. During this time she was also hosting her own local NBC affiliate morning show, Not for Women Only.

Walters eventually joined ABC Evening News in 1976, where she was paired with Harry Reasoner. The two had a difficult relationship over Reasoner’s desire to work solo, and Reasoner ended up returning to CBS News in 1978. Walters became known for her interviews, which became famous for capturing scoops and for asking tough questions. She interviewed every sitting president and first lady from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama among her extensive list of subjects; also on that list were Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Casto, Michael Jackson, Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Monica Lewinsky, and Indira Ghandi.

Walters joined the crew of 20/20 in 1979, where she stayed until her retirement in 2014. She did several specials interviewing people over the years, moderated presidential debates, and served as a commentator for a host of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most significant events from 9/11 to inaugurations.

Walters created, produced, and co-hosted ABC’s The View, which launched in 1997 and continues on to this day. She retired from being a co-host in 2014 but returned as a guest host occasionally through 2015.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends, and many fans of Barbara Walters. The world would not be the same without her.

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Barbara Walters, Jeremy Thomas