Barbara Walters, pioneering television journalist, dies at 93
Barbara Walters, a pioneering television journalist who was the first woman to host an evening newscast, has died aged 93.
Walters died Friday at her New York home, Disney CEO Robert Iger said in a Tweeter Friday night.
“Barbara was a true legend, a trailblazer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself,” Iger said in a statement. “She was a one-of-a-kind journalist who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state to the biggest celebrities and sports icons.”
“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 female journalists, but for all women,” her publicist Cindi Berger said in a statement. .
Her death was also announced Friday night by ABC, the network where she worked for nearly four decades. His interviews with elected officials, heads of state and Hollywood entertainers also gave Walters celebrity status. In addition to hosting NBC’s Today and ABC’s 20/20 news programs, she was well known for her frequent specials such as her annual 10 Most Intriguing People show.
Walters began her broadcasting career in 1961 as a researcher and writer on NBC’s Today show in 1961 before becoming a co-host in 1974. She made headlines in 1976 with her move to ABC, where she was named the network’s first female news anchor. His five-year contract paid him an unprecedented $1 million.
She was famous for asking personal and probing questions of her guests, who often got emotional and started crying on camera. In her storied career, she has interviewed every sitting US president, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, heads of state such as Cuban President Fidel Castro, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Shah of Iran, as well as artists. like Lucille Ball, Grace Kelly and John Wayne – the last TV interview he conducted before he died three months later.
She was also known for her lisp, a speech impediment that cemented her position as a cultural icon when she was parodied in the 1970s as Baba Wawa by the late comedian Gilda Radner in the famous Saturday Night skit. Live.
In 2014, Walters retired from The View, a morning TV talk show she created in 1997, ending a 53-year career in broadcast journalism that won her 12 Emmy awards.