Barbara Walters is an experienced American-born journalist whose illustrious career in the media spanned several decades. A true pioneer, Walters made history in the 1970s as the first female anchor on an American news show when she became co-host of the NBC The Today show. She also broke through the glass ceiling for women in the evening news segment when she became co-host of the ABC Evening News.
In addition to her role as a presenter on numerous television shows, Barbara Walters co-founded The View in 1997 and also made her debut as co-presenter. In 2014 she resigned as co-host of The View but will continue to work as an executive producer. She also retired as a presenter and staff member of ABC News in 2015.
Barbara Walters’ Bio, Age
Barbara Jill Walters was born on September 25, 1929, in Boston, Massachusetts. Her mother Dena (née Seletsky) and her father Louis “Lou” Walters were both Jewish. Her father was a showbiz magnate, and so Barbara Walters grew up surrounded by celebrities. The family moved around a lot, and as a result, she changed schools often. She graduated from the Birch Wathen School in New York in 1947 and then enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, where she graduated with a B.A. in English in 1951.
After graduating from college, Barbara Walters worked briefly in an advertising agency before joining WNBT-TV (now WNBC), an affiliated NBC station based in New York. Despite the career advancements she made at the station, Walters quit the job because of continued offers of marriage from her boss. She then worked as a producer, author, and publicist for a number of companies.
Barbara Walters joined NBC in 1961 as a writer and researcher for the Today show. Over the years she developed from her initial roles and began to present lighter news and weather. She continued to create and develop her own news stories and interviews, even though she was not appointed co-host of the show. Finally, in 1974, she became the first female co-host of the Today show after the death of Frank McGee, the former host of the show.
After leaving the Today show in 1976, Barbara Walters joined the nightly news program ABC Evening News, which she co-hosted with Harry Reasoner. After two years with ABC Evening News, she moved to ABC News magazine 20/20 in 1979, where she teamed up with former Today Show host Hugh Downs.
In addition to her full-time work as a presenter of ABC News, Barbara Walters also appeared as a guest commentator and reported on remarkable news in special reports. She moderated the 3rd and final debate of the 1976 U.S. presidential election between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. She also conducted interviews with several influential personalities of the world, from Fidel Castro to Margaret Thatcher and Muammar Gaddafi. Her interview with Monica Lewinsky in 1999 had an unprecedented 74 million viewers, still the highest number in television history for a news interview.
In August 1997, Barbara Walters began as co-host of the daily talk show The View, which she created and produced in collaboration with Bill Geddie. In May 2014, she officially retired from her full-time job as a presenter and interview partner, although she did retire temporarily to moderate a few special interviews. Her last on-air interview was with the then U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and his family, which was broadcast in December 2015.
Barbara Walters is currently unmarried, although he has been married a few times in the past. Her first marriage dates back to June 1955, when she entered into the alliance with business mogul and former Navy Lieutenant Robert Henry Katz. The marriage was allegedly annulled in 1958.
Walter’s second marriage was to showbiz magnate Lee Guber. The duo married on December 8, 1963, and had a child, a daughter named Jacqueline Dena Guber, who they adopted in 1968, the same year she was born. However, the union ended in a divorce, which was consummated on March 22, 1976.
Barbara Walters married from time to time with her third husband Merv Adelson, a real estate developer and television producer. The couple first married in 1981, and after 3 years they were divorced in 1984. After a two-year break, they got back together and remarried on May 10, 1986. Their second marriage definitely lasted longer than the first but ended in divorce, which was finalized on August 17, 1992.
Over the years, Barbara Walters’ relationship with her only daughter Jacqueline Danforth (née Guber) became strained. However, the mother-daughter duo managed to repair their relationship. According to Walter’s own statement, her biggest regret in life is not having more children.
In addition to her celebrated longevity, Barbara Walters’ career has been equally well rewarded in the media. She made history as the first female presenter to reach the $1 million annual salary mark. From June 2006 to June 2007, Walters earned a whopping $12 million, which earned her a place on the Forbes list of television’s top 20 earners. Not surprisingly, the veteran journalist has net assets of $170 million.
In the years before her retirement, Barbara Walters faced a number of health challenges, the most notable of which was aortic valve stenosis, for which she successfully underwent heart surgery. Unfortunately, her health continued to deteriorate after her retirement.
Once an avid social critic, Walters has not made a public appearance since mid-2016, and insider reports say that the octogenarian spends most of her time between her bed and a wheelchair because she has difficulty moving around. It has also been reported that the iconic presenter shows signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s, although there has been no confirmation from her representatives.
Height and Weight
Barbara Walters is 165 cm (5 feet) tall and has a bodyweight of 57 kg (126 lbs).