Barbara Walters, a journalist at ABC News who helped forge the way for women to appear on news broadcasts, has died. She was 93 years old.
ABC News broke the story on her death, but provided no details or any statements from her family.
Walters joined ABC News in 1976, where she was the first woman to anchor a nightly news show, the network said. She later co-hosted “20/20” and launched “The View.”
Walters stepped down from co-hosting “The View” in 2014, saying at the time: “I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain. I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men too — who will be taking my place.”
Walters, who was born in 1929, grew up around celebrities because her father worked in show business. This experience taught her valuable lessons that would later help her in her career.
“I would see them onstage looking one way and offstage often looking very different. I would hear my parents talk about them and know that even though those performers were very special people, they were also human beings with real-life problems,” Walters said decades ago. “I can have respect and admiration for famous people, but I have never had a sense of fear or awe.”
Disney CEO Robert Iger responded to Walters’ death in a statement that praised her career.
“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself,” Iger said. “She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state and leaders of regimes to the biggest celebrities and sports icons.”
“I had the pleasure of calling Barbara a colleague for more than three decades, but more importantly, I was able to call her a dear friend,” he continued. “She will be missed by all of us at The Walt Disney Company, and we send our deepest condolences to her daughter, Jacqueline.”
I have sad news to share today. Barbara Walters passed away this evening at her home in New York. pic.twitter.com/fxSyU6BQk4
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) December 31, 2022