Barbara Walters certainly paved the way for women in journalism, she can unmistakenly be called the pioneer of women journalism.
In the course of her career which spanned nearly half a century, she got to interview the most celebrities and politicians ranging from leaders like Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein, and each president from Richard Nixon through Barack Obama and Trump too before he became the president.
Barbara was born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 25, 1929. Growing up wasn’t so easy for Barbara as she learned to stand up on her feet the hard way.
Her father, Lou Walters, opened the famous nightclub called The New Yorker as an “American version of the type of Parisian night club that had elaborate floor shows with dozens of expensively costumed chorus girl.”
Barbara in 1937 moved with her family to an apartment just off central West park called ”The Big Apple”.
The club collapsed and the place was taken from them.
Speaking to The New York Times about her father in 1996, she said, “He had a breakdown. He went down to live in our house in Florida, and then the government took the house, and they took the car, and they took the furniture.”
Barbara worked as an assistant to the publicity director for New York after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York, and earning a Bachelor’s degree in English.
In 1961 she went on to work as a writer and was hired by NBC as a researcher and writer for its popular Today show.
A few years later, she earned the nickname “Today girl,” and was named co-host of today after starring alongside Hugh Downs and, later Frank McGee.
In 1976, she signed a contract for $1 million per year with ABC, making her the highest-paid journalist at the time.
She was a unicorn in her niche and got many awards, including three Daytime Emmy Awards and a Prime Time Emmy.
Barbara has been the only one to achieve the highest watched interview in history. She got the attention of over 50 million people while interviewing White House intern Monica Lewinsky on March 4, 1999.
Barbara hosted many notable shows and in 2014 she decided to say goodbye to her career.
”With Barbara’s retirement, so goes TV news,” longtime news anchor Connie Chung told the New York Times.