Barbara Walters: legendary US TV journalist dies aged 93

Barbara Walters

Pioneering US TV journalist and news anchor Barbara Walters has died at the age of 93.

Walters became the first female anchor on an American network evening news broadcast and created popular women’s talk show The View in 1997.

News of her death was confirmed by Robert Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Co., which is the parent company of The View’s network ABC.

He wrote: “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.”

Iger added: “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.”

Walters’ publicist, Cindi Berger, added: “Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones.

“She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women.”

Over a career spanning half a century, Walters interviewed some of the most famous world leaders on the planet including Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and every recent US president.

She retired in 2014 after a career that made her a trailblazer for women in broadcast media industries in the United States.

Leading tributes to Walters was Oprah Winfrey, who wrote: “Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me—nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news. She was indeed a Trailblazer. I did my very first television audition with her in mind the whole time.

“Grateful that she was such a powerful and gracious role model. Grateful to have known her. Grateful to have followed in her Light.”

Elsewhere, actor Hugh Jackman said: “She was a trailblazer, wickedly funny, generous, openhearted and a good friend. She also gave some of the most memorable dinner parties we’ve ever been to. Get ready heaven, Barbara’s coming to spice things up.”

Monica Lewinsky, one of Walters’ interviewees, added: “She was the very first person with whom I ever sat for a television interview … and will certainly be my most memorable. Barbara will be missed by many – including me.

“The last time we saw each other was for lunch a few years ago. Of course, she was charming, witty and some of her questions were still her signature interview style.”


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