Barbara Walters, the pioneering TV presenter and journalist, has died at the age of 93.
Walters “passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by loved ones,” her rep said in a statement released Friday, December 30. “She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not just for women journalists, but for all women.”
A native of Boston, Walters was a pioneer in the television industry. After starting as a writer and segment producer at The Today Show in the early 1960s, Walters worked her way up to become the first woman to host an American news program, beginning in 1974, as Today’s co-host. Two years later, she joined ABC News and became the first woman to host an American evening news program as ABC Evening News host.
Between 1979 and 2004, Walters co-hosted the ABC news program 20/20 and established herself as one of television’s premier interviewers. She has spoken to every sitting US President from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, as well as other prominent world leaders including Margaret Thatcher, Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. Her 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky was seen by 74 million people – the highest ratings ever for a news program.
As an extension of her work on 20/20, Walters launched an annual special called Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People, in which she interviewed prominent figures in entertainment, sports, politics and pop culture. The special ran from 1993 to 2015.
Later in her career, Walters co-created and co-hosted the daytime panel show The View. She hosted The View and was a correspondent for ABC News until her retirement from television in 2015.
Walters has won three Daytime Emmy Awards and one Primetime Emmy Award for her work. She was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2000.