Barbara Walters ‘Wished’ She ‘Spent More Time’ With Her Daughter Before She Died—Look Back at Their Relationship
She may have been one of the most famous broadcast journalists in the world, but to Barbara Walters’ daughter, Jacqueline Guber, she was just her mother.
Walters, whose full name was Barbara Jill Walters, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 25, 1929. She joined the TODAY show in 1961 as a writer and researcher before later becoming a correspondent. She made history in 1974 after she became TODAY‘s first female-co-host and the first female co-host of a major news program in the United States. Walters left TODAY in 1976 and signed a $5 million, five-year contract with ABC, making her the highest-paid news anchor in the United States at the time, regardless of gender.
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Along with ABC Evening News, Walters also went on to host shows like 20/20 until she created The View, a daytime talk show with hosts of “different generations, backgrounds and views,” in 1997. The show, which Walters also co-hosted and executive produced, won her a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003 for Best Talk Show. Walters left The View in 2014 after 17 years of co-hosting the show. “I had to be here for your last show, to celebrate you, because of what you have meant to me,” guest Oprah Winfrey told Walters on her final episode. “You have literally meant the world to me. … Like everyone else, I want to thank you for being a pioneer and everything that word means. It means being the first; the first in the room to knock down the door, to break down the barriers, to pave the road that we all walk on. I thank you for that. And I thank you for the courage it took every day to get up and keep doing it.”
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After more than 60 years as a broadcast journalist, Walters died on December 30, 2022, at 93 years old. She is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline Guber, who she shared with her ex-husband, Lee Guber. So who is Barbara Walters’ daughter, Jacqueline Guber, and where is she now? Read on for what we know about Barbara Walters’ daughter, Jacqueline Guber, and her relationship with her mother before Walters’ death.
Who is Barbara Walters’ daughter Jacqueline Guber?
Birthday: June 1968
Who is Barbara Walters’ daughter, Jacqueline Guber? Jacqueline Dena Guber is Barbara Walters’ first and only child. She shared her with her ex-husband, Lee Guber, who she was married to from 1963 to 1976. Walters and Guber adopted Jacqueline in 1968 after she suffered three miscarriages. Jacqueline, who was born in June 1968, was less than a year old when she was adopted. “I had had three miscarriages and my husband and I decided that we would adopt a child,” Walters said in a 2014 interview on Oprah’s Master Class. “We had dinner one night with a couple we rarely saw and the woman said that she had a little girl who was blonde and blue-eyed, and they wanted to adopt a boy … who was going to be tall. They didn’t want the girl. So, we said, ‘We’ll take the girl!’”
Walters and Guber named Jacqueline after Walter’s older sister, Jackie, who was born with mental disability issues and died of ovarian cancer in 1985. “Oh, I adore my daughter,” Walters told Oprah Winfrey. “To know that you’re going to have this kind of love that I feel for her. … I’m laughing because [she] said to me recently, ‘Mom, when you have Alzheimer’s, you can come down and live next to me.’ I take that as a very loving compliment.”
In an interview with NBC News in 2002, Walters revealed that she didn’t take maternity leave after she adopted Jacqueline because she didn’t want her daughter’s biological mother to know who she was adopted by. “I really didn’t want the biological mother to know that Jackie had been adopted by us, [so I] just kept right on working,” she said.
In the same interview, Jacqueline revealed that she struggled with her mother’s career and often felt like she didn’t “fit into her world.” “I think that somewhere inside you think, ‘Why did people give me up?’ I think that played a big, big part of it. I think that my mother being who she is played a huge part of it,” she said. “I never felt like I fit into her world. Because everybody else around me at that time when I was growing up wanted to get ahead and achieve and get ahead.”
She opened up about her drug abuse issues when she was younger, which started when she was 13 years old and “isolated” her further from her mother. “I was a runaway. I loved to run. I thought running would solve all my problems,” Jacqueline said at the time. “It was hard. I mean I went to school with all these cute, small, little, you know, adorable girls that were four-foot-two. And you know here I was this big, gangly girl.” She continued, “I did marijuana. It was called crank then, but it’s now methamphetamines. Quaaludes were all over the place. Valium. And the drugs numbed all the other feelings. But it didn’t take away the issues that I had. They got bigger and bigger. I was more and more isolated from my mom’s world. And I thought running would solve all my problems.”
Jacqueline also revealed that, when she was 13 years old, she would sneak out of her mother’s house in New York City, New York, in fishnet stockings and leather miniskirts to party at the famous New York City nightclub, Studio 54. “I’m lucky I didn’t die,” she said.
In her 2014 special, Barbara Walters: Her Story TV, Walters revealed that her busy career played a part in her relationship with Jacqueline. “I was so busy with a career. It’s the age-old problem,” she said. “And, you know, on your deathbed, are you going to say, ‘I wish I spent more time in the office?’ No. You’ll say, ‘I wish I spent more time with my family,’ and I do feel that way. I wish I had spent more time with my Jackie.” She continued, “I want to be remembered by my daughter as a good and loving mother.”
Where is Barbara Walters’ daughter Jacqueline Guber now?
Where is Barbara Walters’ daughter, Jacqueline Guber, now? Jacqueline married her husband, wilderness guide Mark Danforth, in 2000. In 2001, couple moved to Maine and opened a New Horizons for Young Women, a therapy program for at-risk teenage girls. The facility closed in 2008. In 2013, Jacqueline was arrested for a misdemeanor DUI offense for driving under the influence in Naples, Florida. According a report by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office obtained by E! News, officers responded to a call of an SUV parked on highway I-75 in the center lane. After they initiated a traffic stop, the officers suspected that Jacqueline and her male passenger were intoxicated. The officers helped the passenger out of the car and handcuffed him so he wouldn’t fall into traffic. According to the report, Jacqueline exited the car and started to shout at the officers, which forced them to handcuff her as well so she wouldn’t walk into traffic.
After Jacqueline refused to take a field sobriety test, she was placed under arrest. A Breathalyzer test later revealed that she had 0.218 above Florida’s state legal limit. She was taken into custody at 1:30 a.m. and later released after posting a $1,000 bond.
In 2014, the same year she announced her retirement, Walters purchased a three-bedroom, four-bathroom waterfront condominium in Naples, Florida, for $3.4 million. Two years later, in April 2016, she transferred the property to Jacqueline, according to records obtained by The New York Post. Jacqueline listed the home three months later for $6.78 million. The home spent time on and off the market until it was sold for $5.34 million in September 2018.
Walters died on December 30, 2022. She was 93 years old. A source told The New York Post in January 2023 that the condo, which Walters originally planned to be a vacation property away from her home in New York City, New York, was sold after her health deteriorated following her dementia diagnosis in 2017. “It was supposed to be her place to retreat, but unfortunately her health deteriorated pretty quickly in the last few years and we just knew she would best be accommodated in New York,” the insider said.
Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters
Buy: ‘Audition: A Memoir’ by Barbara Walters $15
For more about Barbara Walters, read her 2008 book, Audition: A Memoir. The New York Times bestseller takes readers through Walter’s life and groundbreaking career, from when she made history as the first female anchor on the TODAY show to how she made a name for herself in the male-dominated broadcast industry as the host of shows like ABC Nightly News, 20/20 and The View, which she also created. The autobiography—which also follows Walter’s 50-plus-years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures and celebrities like Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn and the Dalai Lama—is a “heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun” story about the woman who interviewed some of the most interesting people in the world—and how she became one of them.
“Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives,” the publisher’s description reads.
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