Dec 31, 2022
By Angus Gillespie
Television news icon Barbara Walters has died at the age of 93.
She was a famous network anchor, reporter and program host who blazed the way as the first woman to become a TV news superstar during a career remarkable for its duration and variety.
ABC broke into its broadcast to announce Walters’ death on air Friday night. Her publicist says Walters died peacefully in her sleep at her home in New York.
During nearly four decades at ABC, and before that at NBC, Walters’ exclusive interviews with rulers, royalty and entertainers brought her celebrity status that ranked with theirs, while placing her at the forefront of the trend that made stars of TV reporters.
Late in her career, she gave infotainment a new twist with “The View,” a live ABC weekday show with an all-female panel for whom any topic was on the table and who welcomed guests ranging from world leaders to teen idols. With that side venture and unexpected hit, Walters considered “The View” the “dessert” of her career.
Walters made headlines in 1976 as the first female network news anchor, with an unprecedented $1 million salary. She co-hosted ABC’s evening news alongside Harry Reasoner.
She became a frequent contributor to ABC’s newsmagazine “20/20,”and in 1984, became co-host. A perennial favorite was her review of the year’s “10 Most Fascinating People.”
By 2004, when she stepped down from “20/20,” she had logged more than 700 interviews, ranging from Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Moammar Gadhafi, to Michael Jackson, Erik and Lyle Menendez and Elton John.
Walters is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline Danforth.
(With files from AP)