‘Trailblazer’: Barbara Walters mourned as broadcasting icon
NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Walters, the intrepid interviewer, anchor and program host who blazed the way as the first woman to become a TV news superstar during a career remarkable for its duration and variety, has died. She was 93.
ABC broke into its broadcast to announce Walters’ death on air Friday night.
“She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women,” her publicist Cindi Berger also said in a statement, adding Walters died peacefully at her New York home.
An ABC spokesperson did not have an immediate comment Friday night beyond sharing a statement from Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC parent The Walt Disney Company.
“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself,” Iger said.
Reaction poured in from the worlds of journalism, politics, sports and entertainment following the death of TV news pioneer and “The View” creator Barbara Walters. She died Friday at her home in New York at age 93. An intrepid interviewer, anchor and program host, she led the way as the first woman to become a TV news superstar.
“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.” — Oprah Winfrey, television icon
“Barbara Walters was the OG of female broadcasters. She was just as comfortable interviewing world leaders as she was Oscar winners and she had to fight like hell for every interview. I deeply admired her and she was incredibly supportive through the years. ... As I wrote in my book, she liked to say we were similar in that neither of us was particularly glamorous. I never quite knew how to take that, although being in Barbara’s mold was nothing but a compliment.” — Katie Couric, journalist, former “Today” co-host and network news anchor.
- Barbara Walters, news pioneer and 'The View' creator, dies
- Another woman files sex abuse lawsuit against Cosby, NBC
- Barbara Walters, dead at 93, was cultural fixture, TV icon
- Woman sues Steven Tyler, alleging child sex assault in 1970s
“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself. She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state 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. She will be missed by all of us at The Walt Disney Company, and we send our deepest condolences to her daughter, Jacqueline.” — Bob Iger, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company
“I owe Barbara Walters more than I could ever repay. Rest well sister…mother…friend…colleague…mentor.” — Star Jones, an original co-host on “The View”
“The Legend. The Blueprint. The Greatest. Rest in Peace Barbara Walters.” — Tamron Hall, broadcast journalist and television talk show host
“i knew barbara for over half of my life. we met in the spring of 1998, in the midst of the starr investigation; i was 24. i remarked that this was the first time i’d ever been in serious trouble. i’d basically been a good kid — got good grades, didn’t do drugs, never shoplifted etc. without missing a beat barbara said: monica, next time shoplift.” — Monica Lewinsky, who was interviewed by Walters in 1999
“Barbara Walters was a true trailblazer. Forever grateful for her stellar example and for her friendship. Sending condolences to her daughter and family.” — Robin Roberts, “Good Morning America” anchor
“The world of journalism has lost a pillar of professionalism, courage, and integrity. Barbara Walters was a trailblazer and a true pro. She outworked, out-thought, and out-hustled her competitors. She left the world the better for it. She will be deeply missed. RIP.” — Dan Rather, former CBS anchor
“Barbara Walters never flinched when questioning the world’s most powerful people. She held them accountable. She cared about the truth and she made us care too. Fortunately, she inspired many other journalists to be just as unrelenting. We are all better off because of her.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA Hall of Famer
“Pioneering TV news broadcaster Barbara Walters has died. A true trailblazer, she was the 1st woman anchor on the evening news. And I was privileged to know her. When she interviewed me, it was clear she did her homework. She was always prepared. May she rest in power.” — Billie Jean King, tennis champion
“So often we toss around the words icon, legend, trailblazer - but Barbara Walters was all of these. And perhaps, above all else, Barbara Walters was brave. She paved the way for so many — we learned from her — and remain in awe of her to this day. RIP, Barbara.” — David Muir, anchor of “ABC World News Tonight”
“Barbara Walters will always be known as a trail blazer. Her hard hitting questions & welcoming demeanor made her a household name and leader in American journalism. Her creation of ‘The View’ is something I will always be appreciative of. Rest in peace you will forever be an icon.” — Meghan McCain, former co-host of “The View”