Iconic news anchor Barbara Walters has died at age 93 in her New York home. The details of her death were not released; although Walters had been suffering from advanced dementia for some time, prior to her passing.
Walters became famous for her work at ABC News and her skills in interviewing everyone from presidents to rebels to sports stars to criminals.
She was the first woman host on the ABC News show and joined in the mid-1970s, going on to achieve worldwide fame and become the face of the network and their show 20/20.
Simplest and best tribute to exemplify the Barbara Walters legacy :
On her final show on The View, they just brought one female journalist after another to honour her. All ages, races, from NBC to FOX, to say thank you. She’s completely overwhelmed and touched. pic.twitter.com/923BqlU7CG
— Lucas Meyer (@meyer_lucas) December 31, 2022
An American Life
Walters was born in 1929 in Boston to Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants who had come to America for a better life.
Her parents worked in show business and booking famous people, including giving comedians a spotlight to show their stuff in the heady days of the late 20s.
Young Barbara showed exceptional intelligence from a young age. She went on to attend Sarah Lawrence College and eventually pursue a career in journalism.
She was partly motivated by her older sister Jacqueline, who had disabilities and died young. For Barbara, the fact that she’d been given gifts of speaking and verbal intelligence meant she should follow her talents where they led and take full advantage of them.
Barbara Walters on listening: pic.twitter.com/aFNNrwQgIN
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) December 31, 2022
The End of an Era
Walters’ passing marks the end of an era in journalism; she came from a generation of journalists who were not as sharply partisan and left-wing as many of those today.
Walters’ show, The View, for example, devolved into a left-wing hate-fest against conservatives, unfortunately a sign of the times for what American journalism is now like for the most part.
She was from another generation, and said in addition to feeling a need to earn enough to provide for Jacqueline and use her gifts, what motivated her to focus so much on becoming a success was the need to be accepted and “make a difference.”
Despite not initially having any of the looks that typically defined news personalities, Walters went on to truly earn her way with raw skill and interviewing ability, outworking and outdoing others who also wanted a top spot on American news.
Colleagues such as Disney CEO and friend Bob Iger call her “gifted” and “special.”
Rest in Peace, Barbara
From Fidel Castro to Bill Clinton and everyone else in between, Barbara Walters is the woman many of us picture when we think of iconic interviews that shocked and saddened us or made us laugh, question, or feel strongly.
Hers was the questioning mind and face at the other end of the camera, the one sitting across and asking the questions on behalf of America, often the hard questions.
This woman was both brave and intelligent, a fearsome combination that many journalists today could do with more of in their own personalities and professional approaches.
Rest in peace, Barbara!