A fallen icon. Barbara Walters, known for her trailblazing work as a broadcast journalist, has died at the age of 93. Her passing was first reported by ABC News.
“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones,” her representative, Cindi Berger, told People. “She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”
Walters had an illustrious career that spanned decades across news networks and daytime television. After briefly working for CBS News, Walters took her talent to NBC and worked as both a researcher and writer. Becoming a reporter-at-large and then the cohost of Today, the Boston native shattered the glass ceiling, becoming the first female coanchor of the storied morning broadcast.
Joining ABC News in 1976, Walters maintained her trailblazing efforts and became the first woman to ever anchor an evening news broadcast. By 1979, Walters became the cohost of 20/20 and by the late 1990s, she created perhaps her most high profile television show, The View. Throughout her career, the ceiling-breaking journalist took home 12 Emmy Awards and continued producing television content well into her 80s.
“The so-called hard news, a woman couldn’t do it. The audience wouldn’t accept her voice,” Walters recounted of her career in 2015 during a Master Class video. “She couldn’t go into the war zones, she couldn’t ask the tough questions.”
But ask the tough questions she did, and Walters continued to push the boundaries within the industry and rise to the very top of journalism success.
In addition to her work as a host and anchor, Walters was an impressive interviewer, sitting down with the likes of Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin and Monica Lewinsky, questioning them on the charting topics dominating their careers. Amazingly, she interviewed every president and first lady from the time of Nixon to Donald Trump.
“I asked Vladimir Putin if he ever ordered anyone to be killed,” Walters recounted of her interview with the Russian president. “For the record, he said ‘no.'”
In the wake of her passing, figures within the journalism community expressed their sorrow and admiration. ABC News anchor David Muir reflected on the beloved icon, describing her as an “extraordinary human being, journalist, pioneer, legend.” “We were all influenced by Barbara Walters,” he continued. “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.”
Walters was married four times to three spouses (she and Robert Henry Katz divorced in 1957, and she was married and divorced to Merv Adelson twice). She and second husband Lee Guber adopted one child together, daughter Jacqueline Dena Guber.
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