From talks with American presidents to those with average citizens, Walters touched the lives of different and dynamic segments of humanity. If there was ever a gold standard for American broadcast journalists, it would likely be legendary CBS reporter and anchor Walter Cronkite and innovative ABC News reporter Barbara Walters.
Late on Friday, it was reported that the iconic broadcast journalist had passed away quietly surrounded by family and friends at her New York City home at the age of 93. Walters broke the glass ceiling in her field and became a dominant force in a formerly male-dominated business.
Almost certainly, Walters holds a record for the sheer number of interviews he has conducted with affluent and famous, political leaders, and celebrities from all walks of life and fields of effort. In 1989, Walters was elected into the Television Hall of Fame, having earned 12 Emmys, 11 of which were while at ABC News.
In her more than fifty-year career as a journalist, she had garnered practically unanimous acclaim and admiration.
In 2015, she had her final interview with then-businessman and probable presidential contender Donald Trump as co-anchor of ABC News’s award-winning 20/20 news program.
Walters joined ABC News in 1976 and became the first female nightly news anchor. She became a co-host of “20/20” three years later, then inaugurated “The View” in 1997.
Bob Iger, the chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ABC News, praised Walters for breaking down barriers.
“Barbara was an absolute legend, a trailblazer not only for women in journalism but for journalism itself. She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who secured interviews with many of the most influential people of our day, from heads of state to the most famous celebrities and sports figures. Barbara was my colleague for more than three decades, but more significantly, she was a great friend. We will all miss her at The Walt Disney Company, and our thoughts go out to her daughter, Jacqueline,” Iger said in a statement released on Friday.
She made her final appearance as a co-host of “The View” in 2014, but she continued to serve as the show’s executive producer and to conduct interviews and specials for ABC News.
She stated at the time, “I do not wish to be on another program or climb another mountain.” “I would rather sit in a sunny meadow and enjoy the incredibly talented women and men who will be taking my place,” she said.
From American presidents to her renowned interview with Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, Barbara Walters has touched the lives of a dynamic and diverse cross-section of humanity.
Her face-to-face interactions included conversations with actors Katharine Hepburn, John Wayne, Patrick Swayze, and Fred Astaire, among others. She conversed with musicians such as Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, and Barbra Streisand, as well as political luminaries such as Henry Kissinger, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vladimir Putin, and Fidel Castro, without missing a beat. Her conversations with Oprah and Monica Lewinsky skyrocketed the network’s ratings and viewership.
The list of those that appeared alongside her on The Barbara Walters Specials was astounding. Nonetheless, the experiences of ordinary people, their lives, and their difficulties remained the focus of her work in pursuit of stories that needed to be told.
For the LGBTQ+ community, Walters frequently told the tales that were crucial in putting a human face to a sometimes demonized group. Her 2007 ABC documentary on transgender children introduced the world to transgender daughter Jazz Jennings, who was six years old at the time, and her incredibly accepting family.