Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.31.2022

ABC News reported that Barbara Walters passed away on Friday (Dec. 30) at the age of 93. A spokesperson for the broadcast legend confirmed she was surrounded by her loved ones when she transitioned.

“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists but for all women,” said Cindi Berger, a rep for Walters. According to Entertainment Weekly, the iconic news staple suffered from dementia in her later years and had not been seen publicly since 2016.

In 1974, Walters made history when she became the first female co-host of NBC’s “Today” show. She would again accomplish an industry feat when she joined ABC in 1976 and became the first woman to anchor an evening news program. For 50 years, she interviewed some of the world’s most notable figures, including every president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. In her final interview special, “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2015,” she also sat down with Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.

Walters is also behind the creation of “The View.” The round-table discussion talk show paved the way for other women-led programs such as “The Talk” and “The Real.” She co-hosted the show from its inception in 1997 until 2014. In her farewell, she said, “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.”

Several of the prolific storyteller’s industry peers have expressed gratitude for the opportunities Walters helped create. In a tribute penned by Oprah Winfrey, she wrote, “Without Barbara Walters, there wouldn’t have been me — nor any other woman you see on evening, morning and daily news. She was indeed a trailblazer. I did my very first television audition with her in mind the whole time. Grateful that she was such a powerful and gracious role model. Grateful to have known her. Grateful to have followed in her Light.”

See Oprah’s tribute as well as others below.

 

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