Barbara Walters, Legendary Interviewer And Journalist, Dies At 93

As reported by ABC, Barbara Walters, arguably the greatest celebrity interviewer in journalistic history and undisputed queen of television news, has passed away. The legendary figure was 93.

Walters was a trailblazer in the world of TV news, shattering glass ceilings for women everywhere, and serving as the highest-paid television journalist at one point. Walters got her start on "The Today Show" as a writer and segment producer of "women's interest stories," and became so popular, she became the co-host of the program, the first woman to ever hold such a prestigious position. In 1976, Walters would continue to make history, becoming the first female co-anchor of a network evening news program, when she joined Harry Reasoner on the "ABC Evening News."

Walters became a household name, creating "The View," and working on "20/20," and countless specials, most notably, her annual list of "Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People." She was a working journalist from 1951 until her retirement in 2015, winning multiple Emmy awards and nabbing even more nominations. Walters holds the distinction of having interviewed every sitting U.S. president and first lady from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama but also interviewed both Donald Trump and Joe Biden before their presidencies. 

Walters was largely considered to be the premiere celebrity interviewer, with many viewing the honor of being interviewed by her as a sign that "you made it." She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

And yet even with all of her accolades, nothing can truly encapsulate the impact, importance, and influence of Barbara Jill Walters.

The woman behind the interview

Barbara Walters was, as "Wonder Woman" star Lynda Carter correctly described her, "an American institution." It's difficult to imagine what the landscape of media, entertainment, and journalism would look like if it weren't for the doors kicked down by Walters and her undeniable gifts. Barbara Walters wasn't just a trailblazer for women in journalism, she completely reshaped the way the industry would approach interviewing. Walters was unafraid to tackle difficult subjects and even more difficult people, interviewing everyone from polarizing political figures to eccentric musicians. She met everyone she spoke to with a baseline level of humanity and respect that everyone with a heart and soul has been trying to emulate from beneath her inimitable shadow.

She was emulated and parodied throughout entertainment for decades, like Gilda Radner's iconic "Baba Wawa" on "Saturday Night Live," or her fictionalized version on "Tiny Toon Adventures." Regardless of the target demo, Barbara Walters was a cultural mainstay. Walters was tough but fair and responsible for some of the most memorable moments in pop culture history. Whether it was her groundbreaking interview with Monica Lewinsky in the wake of the Bill Clinton impeachment trial or her unintentionally hilarious read of the Kardashian family, anybody who's anybody sat opposite Barbara Walters. 

But most importantly, Barbara Walters genuinely cared about the work. She was unrelenting in her quest to hold the most powerful people accountable, and never backed down when she knew she was in the right ... which she almost always was. She was a brilliant journalist, a heartfelt human, and an inspiration to generations.

Thank you, Barbara. The world is better because of you.