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TV host Barbara Walters dies at 93


Barbara Walters, the intrepid interviewer, presenter and program host who became the first woman to become a television news superstar in a career remarkable for its length and diversity, has died. She was 93.

Walters’ death was announced on Friday night by ABC on air and also by her publicist.

“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not just for women journalists but for all women,” publicist Cindi Berger said in a statement.

During nearly four decades at ABC and before that at NBC, Walters’ exclusive interviews with rulers, kings and entertainers earned her a celebrity status that rivaled hers, while also placing her at the forefront of the trend in broadcast journalism that was making TV reporters stars and put news programs in the race for higher ratings.

Walters made headlines in 1976 as the first female news anchor with an unprecedented $1 million annual salary, which gasped and drew criticism (while her extra duties beyond the news were met with outcry). Her drive was legendary as she competed – not only with competing networks but also with colleagues in her own network – for every major “win” in a world where there were a growing number of interviewers, including journalists who had followed her blazed.

“I never expected that!” said Walters in 2004, measuring her success. “I always thought I was going to be a writer for television. I never thought I would be in front of a camera.”

But she was a natural in front of the camera, especially pestering personalities with questions.

“I’m not scared when I have an interview, I’m not scared!” Walters told The Associated Press in 2008.

Walters is survived by their only daughter, Jacqueline Danforth.


Moore, a longtime Associated Press television writer who retired in 2017, was the lead writer on this obituary. Associated Press Journalist Stefanie Dazio contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

In this May 7, 1975 file photo, Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro (center right) responds to a question from NBC reporter Barbara Walters at a news conference granted to members of the U.S. press on Senator George McGovern’s trip to Cuba in Havana . Cuba. (AP photo, file)

In this May 8, 1980 photo, former US President Richard M. Nixon answers a question during an interview with ABC television personality Barbara Walters in New York. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine, file)

In this September 28, 1994 file photo, ‘Entertainment Tonight’ co-host Mary Hart, left, talks to Barbara Walters during a reception at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel)

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