Barbara Walters. biography
Barbara Jill Walters was born on September 25, 1929, in Boston, Massachusetts to Dena Seletsky Walters and nightclub honcho Lou Walters.
Barbara graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a bachelor's degree in English and later acquired her first journalism job as an assistant to WRCA-TV's Tex McCary, where she honed her writing and producing aptitude.
Barbara then transferred to CBS to write for the network's Morning Show. Around this time, she married Robert Henry Katz, but the couple later spilt in 1958.
In 1961, Barbara was recruited by the NBC network as a researcher for the Today show in which she worked on female-friendly segments. She quickly maneuvered her way up to a substantial assignment in which she accompanied First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy on a trip to India and Pakistan. Not only did Barbara's initial report gain national exposure, but her role at NBC also gained significant importance with room to grow.
When 1964 rolled around, Barbara was a regular co-host on the Today show, but was restrained from posing any questions towards the show's more important guests until the male host completed his first. She stayed on as a co-host for more than 11 years before being appointed to the press division that shadowed President Nixon on his trip to China in 1972. Three years later, Barbara earned her first Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award for Best Host in a Talk Series.
In 1976, Barbara accepted a $1 million job offer from ABC, making her the first ever-female co-anchor on an evening news segment. She was then picked to moderate the final debate between Jimmy Carter and President Gerald Ford, followed by the debut of The Barbara Walters Special (1978).
Ensuing her interview with Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Barbara's investigative interviewing style was gaining head-way in the world of journalism and unwanted attention from jealous fellow reporters, including her ABC co-host Harry Reasoner and critics who denounced the rising star's credibility for her lack of qualifications. ABC later released Barbara from the show in 1978.
A year later, Barbara was offered a part-time correspondent position on ABC's 20/20 and landed a highly sought-after interview with former President Richard Nixon in 1980, which was his first interview since resigning from office in 1974.
By 1984, Barbara became an official co-host and continued her success until September 2000, when ABC News renewed her contract for five more years with a $12 million yearly salary - making her the highest-paid news host in history. At the age of 73, Barbara resigned from her 20/20 co-host position in September 2004.
In August 1997, the morning talk show The View debuted with Barbara as co-host and co-executive producer and four other female co-hosts, including Lisa Ling, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar. The show revolves around the ladies' juxtaposed perspectives on various topics, like politics and careers. Due to lady drama over the years, multiple recognizable faces, including Rosie O'Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Whoopi Goldberg, appeared as co-hosts on the show.