Legendary ABC News interviewer and broadcaster Barbara Walters died Friday at the age of 93.
Walters became the first female anchor on the network in 1976 after joining the “Evening News” program and became a co-host of the program “20/20” three years later, ABC News reported. She later launched the ABC daytime program, “The View,” in 1997, where she appeared as a co-host until 2014.
She won 12 Emmy awards throughout the span of her career, winning her first in 1975 for Outstanding Talk Show Host, the outlet reported.
BREAKING: Barbara Walters, who shattered the glass ceiling and became a dominant force in an industry once dominated by men, has died. She was 93. https://t.co/tydwREgTb2 pic.twitter.com/b4jOEHVYFE
— ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2022
Walters interviewed a wide variety of celebrities and notable names throughout the span of her career. She notably interviewed every single U.S. president and first lady from former President Richard Nixon to the Obamas, as well as conducting an interview with former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, the outlet reported.
During an October 4, 1976 broadcast, she exclusively interviewed Earl Butz, who had resigned as then-President Gerald Ford’s Secretary of Agriculture after he had told a racist joke, the outlet reported. She also conducted the first joint interview with Sadat and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. (RELATED: When Barbara Walters Was Charmed By Fidel Castro)
She famously conducted two interviews with former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the outlet reported. Following his death in 2016, she said that he described their interviews as “fiery debates.”
“During our times together, he made clear to me that he was an absolute dictator and that he was a staunch opponent of democracy,” Walters previously said. “I told him that what we most profoundly disagreed on was the meaning of freedom.”
In the 1990s, approximately 74 million viewed her exclusive interview with Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who had an affair with then-President Bill Clinton, the outlet reported. The affair led to the impeachment of Clinton, who had publicly denied having “sexual relations” with Lewinsky.
Being the daughter of club owner Lou Walters, she personally witnessed famous people since childhood. Her success in communicating with famed and notable people stemmed from the understanding of them being real people who experience similar issues as the rest of the world, the outlet reported. She used this outlook during the span of her career.
“I would see them onstage looking one way and offstage often looking very different,” she said regarding celebrities in 2014, according to the outlet.
“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 told the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1989. “I can have respect and admiration for famous people, but I have never had a sense of fear or awe.”
The Emmy-award winning broadcaster initially began her career as a publicist and television writer upon graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in the Bronx, New York, ABC News reported. She landed her first television role on NBC’s “Today” show in 1961.