Barbara Walters, trailblazing American broadcast journalists, died at the age of 93 on Friday evening, December 30, 2022, according to ABC News.
Walters joined ABC News in 1976, becoming the first female anchor on an evening news programme. Three years later, she became a co-host of 20/20, and in 1997, she launched The View.
“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets,” her representative Cindi Berger said in a statement to USA TODAY. “She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”
Bob Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company which is the parent company of ABC News, praised Walters as someone who broke down barriers, in a statement issued on Friday.
“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself. 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.”
The daughter of a nightclub owner, Walters got into television to support the family after he went broke. She made her on-air debut in 1956, when as a writer for CBS’ The Morning Show, she and four other young women modelled modest one-piece bathing suits. In 1961, she became NBC’s Today Girl, and in 1974, the first female co-host of Today.
Over the years, she interviewed Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, John Wayne, the Shah of Iran, Fidel Castro, Barbra Streisand and, Monica Lewinsky (who drew a record news-broadcast audience of 48.5 million viewers), via USA TODAY.