Trailblazing Journalist Barbara Walters Has Died

barbara walters during ladies home journal hosts reception in honor of sharon osbournes august cover in new york city, new york, united states photo by kmazurwireimage
Trailblazing Journalist Barbara Walters Has DiedKMazur - Getty Images

Barbara Walters, the pioneering journalist and first woman to anchor a network evening news program, has passed away at the age of 93. The news icon died last night at her home in Manhattan, per ABC News.

"Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones," her representative Cindi Berger said in a statement confirming the news. "She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women."

Born in Boston on September 25, 1929, Walters grew up observing celebrities and other entertainment personalities who worked with her father Louis "Lou" Walters, a booking agent and nightclub producer. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, Walters worked as a publicist and television writer in the 1950s, before becoming a writer and researcher on NBC's Today show in 1961.

Walters began her trailblazing on-camera career as the first female co-host of "Today" in 1974, and won the first of 12 Emmy awards she'd receive over her lifetime. She went on to become the first female co-anchor of ABC's "Evening News," serve as co-host and chief correspondent of "20/20" for 25 years, and create the beloved daytime talk show "The View." After departing "20/20," she continued creating several primetime news specials at the network, including her annual "10 Most Fascinating People" broadcasts.

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The news personality was known for asking tough questions in her interviews with political leaders and public figures alike. Over her career, Walters interviewed every U.S. president and first lady from the Nixons to the Obamas, with her most legendary segments including her talks with Monica Lewinsky, Michael Jackson, Fidel Castro, and Vladmir Putin.

Walters was, and continues to be, an inspiring force for female television journalists who came after her, including Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Connie Chung, and more. As Oprah Winfrey said while presenting Walters with her Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2000, "Had there not been Barbara Walters, surely all of the other women who have followed in her footsteps, including myself, could not stand where we stand and do what we do in this industry today."

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