Remembering Barbara Walters (1929-2022)

By Ethan Pezeshki

Barbara Walters passed away on December 30th, 2022 at the age of 93. She was the first woman to ever anchor a news network show and became a women’s role model and cherished media member, a true symbol of the results of determination.

“One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time”

Barbara Walters instilling a message of how to accomplish goals, through hard works and taking the steps one can reach the highest peaks

Walters was born to two Jewish parents who escaped Russia due to antisemitism. They came to America and had Barbara on September 25, 1929. As a child, Walters enrolled in many school plays where she enjoyed performing in front of others, beginning the path toward her pioneering career. 

After receiving her English degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1947, Barbara worked for 14 years in advertising and public relations for NBC and CBS. In 1961, she began to work on “The Today Show” where she interviewed guests and ran news segments. One of her most notable news reports followed the days after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She reported the world leaders who came to the U.S. to pay homage to Kennedy. 

Walters then became a regular on The Today Show in 1964. In 1974, Walters became a co-host on the show until 1976. She also hosted a show called “Not For Women Only” in 1971. In 1974, Walters hosted “ABC Evening News”. After a few years, she went on to anchor “20/20” for 28 years. Walters co-hosted the View from 1997 to 2014, all together leaving an indelible mark on journalism. 

When Walters left “20/20″, it was estimated that she had administered over 700 interviews. Her interviews included many well-known world leaders, such as Fidel Castro (President of Cuba), Vladimir Putin (President of Russia), and Muammar Gaddafi (Libyan Dictator). In 1977, Walters even had a combined interview with Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Anwar Sadat, the Prime Minister of Egypt, . Additionally, Walters interviewed every U.S. President since Richard Nixon (the 37th president), whom she interviewed in 1980. 

Above, Walters with Former President Ronald Reagan–Getty images

Walters also interviewed many well-known celebrities. Some prominent celebrities she interviewed included the singer Michael Jackson, professional boxer Mike Tyson, actress Lucille Ball, professional boxer Muhammad Ali, dancer Fred Astaire, and singer & actress Barbara Streisand, among many others.

While the world leaders and celebrities Walters interacted with are very impressive, her lasting impression can be seen in the audience as she became a true role model for both Jewry and feminism as she proved that with hard work, dedication, and ambition, a person can accomplish whatever they set their mind to, a lesson only she could teach.

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