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Legendary TV Journalist and News Anchor Barbara Walters Dead at 93

Legendary TV Journalist and News Anchor Barbara Walters Dead at 93

Barbara Walters (Image: Everett Collection)
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NEW YORK CITY (CelebrityAccess) – Barbara Walters, the pioneering TV broadcaster who wasn’t afraid to ask hard-hitting questions, died Friday (December 30). Her death was confirmed via her representative, Cindi Berger, who said she died peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She was 93.

“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 all women,” Berger told CNN in a statement.

Walters became a household name in 1961 on NBC’s Today show before becoming co-host in 1974. She left the network after two years for ABC, where she became the first female anchor on an evening news program. After that came The Barbara Walters Special and her 10 Most Fascinating People specials.

For over 50 years, she spoke to world leaders, went to celebrities’ homes where she wasn’t afraid to ask hard-hitting questions, and interviewed every US President and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon, as reported by CNN.

In addition, she was the co-host of the magazine show 20/20 for nearly 40 years and became the center of the daytime talk show, The View, surrounded by other women who discussed current events.

Walters left The View in 2014 but remained behind the scenes for a few years. In celebration of her leaving, numerous women appeared on set to say goodbye to the one who helped pave the way for their careers. Women such as Oprah Winfrey, Meredith Viera, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts, and many more.

Walters was born September 25, 1929 in Boston to nightclub owner Lou Walters – exposing her to celebrities at an early age. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in English and began her career as an assistant at WRCA-TV.

Sometimes seen as overbearing or brash (usually by men), she took it on the chin effortlessly. “If it’s a woman, it’s caustic; if it’s a man, it’s authoritative. If it’s a woman, it’s too pushy; if it’s a man, it’s aggressive in the best sense of the word,” she once said.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media upon news of her death.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Barbara Walters never flinched when questioning the world’s most powerful people. She held them accountable. She cared about the truth and she made us care too. Fortunately, she inspired many other journalists to be just as unrelenting. We are all better off because of her.”

Maria Shriver: Barbara Walters was a trailblazer. She was a mentor to me as well as a friend. So many women broke into the news business because she did her job well.”

Joan Lunden: “We have lost a true legend with the passing of Barbara Walters. Such a trail blazer. Such a generous woman – I learned so much from working with her.”

Walters was married four times to business executive Robert Katz, producer Lee Guber and twice to Merv Adelson. The second marriage to Adelson ended in 1992. She is survived by her daughter, Jackie, whom she and Guber adopted in 1968.

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