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Walters, Barbara 1931–

WALTERS, Barbara 1931

PERSONAL

Full name, Barbara Ann Walters; born September 25, 1931, in Boston, MA; daughter of Lou (a nightclub operator and theatrical producer) and Dena (maiden name, Selett) Walters; first marriage annulled; married Lee Guber (a theatrical producer), December 8, 1963 (divorced, 1976); married Merv Adelson (a television production executive), May 10, 1986 (divorced); children: (second marriage) Jacqueline Dena. Education: Sarah Lawrence College, B.A., English, 1953.


Addresses: Office c/o 20/20, 147 Columbus Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10023; Barbara Walters Specials, Barwall Productions, 825 Seventh Ave., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 100196014. Publicist Cindi Berger, PMK/HBH, New York, 650 Fifth Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10019. Agent The Harry Walker Agency Inc., 355 Lexington Ave., 21st Floor, New York, NY 10017.


Career: Broadcast journalist and writer. Worked as a writer and producer for WNBCTV, WPIX, and CBSTV.


Member: National Association for Help for Mentally Retarded Children (honorary chairperson, 1970).


Awards, Honors: Named among One Hundred Women of Accomplishment, Harper's Bazaar, 1967 and 1971; named one of America's SeventyFive Most Important Women, Ladies' Home Journal, 1970; Emmy Award nomination, best host or hostess of a talk, service, or variety series, 1974, for Not for Women Only; named Woman of the Year in Communications, 1974; named one of Two Hundred Leaders of the Future, Time, 1974; honorary L.H.D. degrees from Ohio State University and Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY, both 1975; Award of the Year, National Association of Television Program Executives, 1975; Emmy Award, best host or hostess of a talk, service, or variety series, 1975, for The Today Show; Mass Media Award, Institute for Human Relations, American Jewish Committee, 1975; Illinois Broadcasters Association established the Barbara Walters College Scholarship in Broadcast Journalism, 1975; named Woman of the Year, Theta Sigma Phi, and Broadcaster of the Year, International Radio and Television Society, 1975; Gold Medal, National Institute of Social Sciences, 1976; Matrix Award, New York Women in Communications, 1977; Lowell Thomas Award, International Platform Association, 1977; Hubert H. Humphrey Freedom Prize, AntiDefamation League, B'nai B'rith, 1978; named one of the Ten Women of the Decade, Ladies' Home Journal, 1979; named one of the Most Important Women of 1979, Roper Report, 1979; Emmy Award, best news program segment, and Emmy Award (with others), best news and documentary programs and program segments, both 1980, for ABC News Nightline; Emmy Awards, best interviewer, 1982 and 1983, and Emmy Award nominations, best informational series, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988, all for The Barbara Walters Special; named one of the Women Most Admired by the American People, Gallup Poll, 1982, 1984; honorary L.H.D. degree, Wheaton College, 1983; named one of America's One Hundred Most Important Women, Ladies' Home Journal, 1983; Emmy Award, best interviewer, 1983, Emmy Award nomination, best interview segment, 1984, Emmy Award nomination, best background/analysis of a single current story, 1987, and Emmy Award, best interview segment, 1988, all for 20/20; President's Award, Overseas Press Club of America, 1988; Lowell Thomas Award, Marist College, 1990; elected to Hall of Fame, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1990; Lifetime Achievement Award, International Women's Media Foundation, 1992; honored by the American Museum of the Moving Image, 1992; honored by Museum of Television and Radio, contributions to broadcast journalism, 1996; Excellence in Media Award, GLAAD Media Awards, 1996; Distinguished Service Award, National Association of Broadcasters, 1997; Lucy Award, Women in Film Lucy Awards, 1998; Daytime Emmy Award nominations (with others), outstanding talk show host and outstanding talk show, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, Daytime Emmy Award (with others), outstanding talk show, 2003, for The View; Daytime Emmy Award, lifetime achievement, 2000.

CREDITS

Television Appearances; Series:

Regular correspondent, The Today Show (also known as The Rise and Shine Review ), NBC, 19631974.

Coanchor, The Today Show (also known as The Rise and Shine Review ), NBC, 19741976.

Moderator, Not for Women Only, syndicated, 19741976.

Coanchor, The ABC News with Harry Reasoner and Barbara Walters (now ABC World News Tonight ), ABC, 19761978.

Correspondent, 20/20, ABC, 19811984.

Coanchor, 20/20, ABC, 1984.

Substitute anchor, ABC News Nightline (also known as Nightline ), ABC, 1991.

Anchor, Turning Point, ABC, 1994.

Cohost, The View, ABC, 1997.

ABC News Saturday Night, ABC, 1998.

America.01, ABC, 2001.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Host, The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1976, 1985.

The Television Annual: 1978/1979, 1979.

AllStar Celebration Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., NBC, 1986.

Host, Liberty Weekend Preview, ABC, 1986.

Host, Life: Fifty Years (also known as The 50th Anniversary of Life Magazine ), ABC, 1986.

Commentator, Liberty Weekend, ABC, 1986.

Today at 35, NBC, 1987.

A StarSpangled Celebration, ABC, 1987.

Sesame Street Special, PBS, 1988.

Host, The 50th Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1988.

Anchor, America's Kids: Why They Flunk (also known as Burning Questions ), ABC, 1988.

Regis & Kathie Lee: Special Edition, 1988.

Fifty Years of Celebration: A Golden Celebration, CBS, 1989.

Reporter, Presidential Inauguration, ABC, 1989.

Anchor, Survival Stories: Growing Up Down and Out (also known as Kids in Trouble: Fighting Back ), ABC, 1989.

America's Kids: Teaching Them to Think (also known as Burning Questions ), ABC, 1989.

The 6th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame, Fox, 1990.

Night of 100 Stars III, NBC, 1990.

Fifteen Years of MacNeil/Lehrer, PBS, 1990.

Presenter, The 48th Alfred I. DupontColumbia University Awards, PBS, 1990.

Anchor, The Perfect Baby, ABC, 1990.

Edward R. Murrow: This Reporter (documentary), PBS, 1990.

The Best of Disney: 50 Years of Magic, ABC, 1991.

Host, The Best of Barbara Walters: LegendThe New Generation, ABC, 1992.

Donahue: The 25th Anniversary, NBC, 1992.

Host, Twentysomething: What Happened to the American Dream?, ABC, 1992.

Today at 40, NBC, 1992.

Legend to Legend Night, NBC, 1993.

Kathie Lee Gifford's Celebration of Motherhood, ABC, 1993.

The 12 Most Fascinating People of 1993, ABC, 1993.

Narrator, In a New Light '93, ABC, 1993.

Host, What Is This Thing Called Love? The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1993.

Host, One on One: Classic Television Interviews, CBS, 1993.

Host, Great Television Moments: What We Watched, ABC, 1993.

Host, 20/20 15th Anniversary Special, ABC, 1993.

Switched at Birth: Kimberly's Story, ABC, 1993.

Segment host, "Watching History Happen," ABC's 40th Anniversary Special, ABC, 1994.

Presenter, The Essence Awards, Fox, 1994.

Host, "25/25," Sesame Street's AllStar 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!, ABC, 1994.

Host, In a New Light '94, ABC, 1994.

Host, The Barbara Walters Special: Happy Hour, ABC, 1994.

Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1994, ABC, 1994.

The 10th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame, ABC, 1994.

Anchor, Whiz Kids, ABC, 1995.

Host, Princess Diana: The Interview, ABC, 1995.

Into the Jury's Hands, ABC, 1995.

Inside the Hate Conspiracy: America's Terrorists, ABC, 1995.

Introduction, In a New Light: Sex Unplugged, ABC, 1995.

Narrator, Happily Ever After?, The Discovery Channel, 1995.

Host, Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1995, ABC, 1995.

Sex, Drugs and Consequences, ABC, 1996.

Race for a Miracle: The Brad and Vicki Margus Story, ABC, 1996.

Host, The Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Celebration, PBS, 1996.

Barbara Walters: 20 Years at ABC, ABC, 1996.

Host, Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1996, ABC, 1996.

Interviewee, Mike Wallace Remembers, CBS, 1997.

Host, Men Are from Mars, Women are from VenusBut We Have to Live on Earth, ABC, 1997.

Hollywood and the News, ABC, 1997.

Barbara Walters Presents 6 to Watch, ABC, 1997, 1998.

Host, Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1997, ABC, 1997.

Host, Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1998, ABC, 1998.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 13th Annual Hall of Fame, Showtime, 1998.

Presenter, The 25th Daytime Emmy Awards, NBC, 1998.

Interviewee, Monica: The Untold Story, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Star Jones, Lifetime, 1999.

Host, A Celebration: 100 Years of Great Women with Barbara Walters, ABC, 1999.

Host, Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 1999, ABC, 1999.

Interviewee, Ann Landers: America's Confidante, Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

ABC 2000, ABC, 1999.

Presenter, The 26th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, CBS, 1999.

Super Bowl XXXIV, ABC, 2000.

Interviewee, Barbara Walters: A Driving Force, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

The 27th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, ABC, 2000.

Interviewee, The Nightclub Years, Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Liz Smith, Lifetime, 2001.

I Love Lucy50th Anniversary Spcial, CBS, 2001.

Breaking the News, CBS, 2001.

Interviewee, Born in My Heart: A Love Story, ABC, 2001.

Presenter, The 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, NBC, 2001.

NBC 75th Anniversary Special (also known as NBC 75th Anniversary Celebration ), NBC, 2002.

Gilda Radner's Greatest Moments, ABC, 2002.

Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002, ABC, 2002.

After Party at "The View, " ABC, 2002.

The View: His & Her Body Test, ABC, 2003.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Christiane Amanpour, Lifetime, 2003.

Host, Hillary Clinton's Journey: Public, Private, Personal with Barbara Walters, ABC, 2003.

Presenter, ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration, ABC, 2003.

Presenter, The 57th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 2003.

Presenter, The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, ABC, 2003.

Host, 20/20: Living with Michael Jackson, ABC, 2003.

Interviewee, 100 Years of Hope and Humor, NBC, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Sesame Street, PBS, 1969.

Mrs. Frazier, "For the Love of Bert," Maude, 1975.

"Edward R. Murrow: This Reporter," American Masters, PBS, 1990.

Host, "Switched at Birth: Kimberly's Story," Turning Point, ABC, 1993.

Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003.

Guest host, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, 2001.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2003.

Also appeared in episodes of Issues and Answers, ABC.

Television Work; Series:

Coexecutive producer, The View, ABC, 1997.

Executive producer, Iyanla, NBC, 2001.

Television Executive Producer; Specials:

The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 19921993, 2001.

Born In My Heart: A Love Story (documentary), ABC, 2001.

Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002, ABC, 2002.

The View: His & Her Body Test, 2003.

Radio Appearances:

Moderator of the radio programs Emphasis and Monitor; and hosted popular series Not for Women Only, NBC radio.

Stage Appearances:

Night of 100 Stars III, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1990.

Film Appearances:

Bank teller, Crazy Mama, 1975.

Spinster I, Goin' South, 1978.

(As Barbara Ann Walters) Cafeteria lady, Rock 'n' Roll High School, 1979.

In God We Tru$t (also known as Gimme That Prime Time Religion ), 1980.

The Line King: Al Hirschfeld (also known as The Line King ), 1996.

WRITINGS

Television Specials:

The Perfect Baby, ABC, 1990.

The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1990.

The Best of Barbara Walters: LegendThe New Generation, ABC, 1992.

What Is This Thing Called Love? The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1993.

20/20 15th Anniversary Special, ABC, 1993.

The Barbara Walters Special: Happy Hour, ABC, 1994.

Barbara Walters: 20 Years at ABC, ABC, 1996.

Barbara Walters Presents: 6 to Watch, ABC, 1997.

Hillary Clinton's Journey: Public, Private, Personal with Barbara Walters, 2003.

Writer for Issues and Answers, ABC.

Television Series:

The Today Show (also known as The Rise and Shine Review ), NBC, 19611963.

Books:

How to Talk with Practically Anybody about Practically Anything, Doubleday, 1970.

Interview Given by CommanderinChief Fidel Castro to the American Journalist Barbara Walters, Oficina de Publicaciones del Consejo de Estado, 1978.

Barbara Walters Best Interviews, Meredith Corp., 1994.


Contributor to periodicals, including Family Weekly, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest.

OTHER SOURCES

Periodicals:

Entertainment Weekly, March 19, 1999, pp. 8182.

George, November, 1997, pp. 108113, 142, 144.

Ladies' Home Journal, April, 1996, p. 128.

Life, February 18, 1966, pp. 4950, 52; November 18, 1997, p. 36.

Nation, December 15, 1997, p. 36.

Newsweek, May 6, 1974; May 3, 1976; October 11, 1976.

New York Times, May 2, 1976; August 23, 1992.

People Weekly, June 21, 1982; May 26, 1986.

Time, May 3, 1976; October 18, 1976.

TV Guide, January 2, 1999, pp. 1219.

Washington Star, April 23, 1976.

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Walters, Barbara

Barbara Walters

Born: September 25, 1931
Boston, Massachusetts

American newscaster and reporter

Drawing the highest pay in the history of television broadcasting at the time, Barbara Walters became the first woman coanchor of a network evening newscast. She developed to a high art the interviewing of public figures.

Early life

Barbara Walters was born to Dena (Selett) and Lou Walters on September 25, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts. Her only brother, Burton, had died of pneumonia before Barbara was born, and her sister, Jacqueline, was born mentally handicapped. Her father operated a number of nightclubs, resulting in Barbara attending schools in Boston, New York City, and Miami Beach, Florida. Because of this lifestyle, Walters grew up a lonely and shy child and was especially close to her only playmate and sister, Jacqueline.

Walters earned a bachelor's degree in English from Sarah Lawrence College in 1954. After working briefly as a secretary she landed a job with the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC) New York affiliate WRCA-TV where she quickly rose to producer and writer. She also held various writing and public relations jobs, including a stint as a women's program producer at WPIX-TV in New York City.

Walters's abilities and experience in research, writing, filming, and editing earned her a job as news and public affairs producer for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) television. There she wrote materials for noted personalities who appeared on the CBS morning show that competed with NBC's Today program. She left CBS because she believed further advancement was unlikely.

Moving in front of the camera

In 1961 Walters was hired by NBC as a writer with an occasional on-the-air feature for the Today show. Within three years Walters became an on-camera interviewer and persuaded such notables as Mamie Eisenhower (18961979), Anwar Sadat (19181981), and H. R. Haldeman (19261993) to appear with her.

Meanwhile, a number of different "show business" women held the post as the " Today girl," but none had a journalism background. Mainly they engaged in small talk and read commercials. Some at NBC began to think a different kind of woman might help the show. When the spot was unexpectedly opened, Walters was given the " Today girl" slot on a trial basis. The public readily accepted this bright, on-the-air newswoman, who also continued to write and produce much of her own material. A few months later, Hugh Downs (1921) said Walters was the best thing that had happened to the Today show during his time as host. They would later be teamed on ABC's program 20/20 as competition to CBS's Sixty Minutes.

Today featured stories by Walters that included socially significant topics, and frequently she got on-the-spot experience which gave her reports even more credibility. As her reputation grew, NBC made her a radio commentator on Emphasis and Monitor. She also participated in such NBC specials as "The Pill" and "The Sexual Revolution"(1967), and in 1969 she covered the ceremony which conferred Prince Charles (1948) as the Prince of Wales.

Finally in 1974 Walters was named cohost of the Today show. By then, her status as a broadcaster had risen to such heights that she had twice been named to Harper's Bazaar 's list of "100 Women of Accomplishment" (1967 and 1971), Ladies Home Journa l's "75 Most Important Women" (1970), and Time 's "200 Leaders of the Future" (1974). As the most influential woman on television, others soon competed for her talents.

Million-dollar newswoman

In 1976 Walters accepted a million-dollar-a-year contract for five years to move to ABC, where she became television's first network anchorwoman, the most prestigious job in television journalism. She also anchored and produced four prime-time specials and sometimes hosted or appeared on the network's other news and documentary programs. Her contract stirred professional criticism and jealousy. It not only doubled her income from NBC and her syndicated show, Not For Women Only, but it also made her the highest paid newscaster in history at that time. Walter Cronkite (1916), John Chancellor, and Harry Reasoner then received about four hundred thousand dollars.

Executives of other networks cried that their established anchors might demand salary increases, questioned what they perceived as a "show biz" tint to the dry task of news reporting, and questioned whether the public would accept a woman news anchor. (ABC's private polls before they made their record offer indicated only 13 percent preferred a male anchor, and they knew her presence could easily increase advertising revenues far exceeding her salary.)

Despite Walters's sharp, probing interviewing techniques, she seldom seemed to alienate the person she was interviewing. She revealed some of the secrets of her success in her book How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything (1970). Others attributed her interviewing success to her amazing ability to ask primarily those questions that the public would want answered.

However, Walters still had her critics. Some interview-subjects said her nervousness distracted them. Others claimed she was so eager that disastrous mistakes occurred, citing the instance when she grabbed another network's microphone as she dashed to get a unique interview. Washington press corps members charged that she acted more as a "star" than as a reporter on presidential trips. However, her professional admirers outnumbered those who criticized her. Walter Cronkite noted her special interviewing talents. Sally Quinn, former rival on CBS Morning News, commented how "nice" Walters was to her.

Still on top

Walters's personal life held considerable interest to the public. Her brief marriage to businessman Bob Katz was annulled, or made void; her thirteen-year marriage to Lee Guber, a theatrical producer, ended in divorce. Still they remained friendly, sharing mutual love for their daughter, Jacqueline Dena. In 1985 she married Merv Adelson, who had also previously been wed twice.

Walters has had a reputation for often being the first to interview world leaders. During the 1996 presidential campaign she interviewed the first African American Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell (1937), after his retirement from the military. She has also had exclusive interviews with both Christopher Darden and Robert Shapiro of the O. J. Simpson murder trial, noted by the media as one of the most controversial murder trials of the twentieth century. Walters also had exclusive interviews with billionaire David Geffen, then with Christopher Reeve (1952) following the horseback riding fall that left him paralyzed. In 1999, Walters was the first to be granted a public interview by Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose affair with President Bill Clinton (1946) led to his impeachment trial by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Walters's elevation to top-paid broadcaster was credited with raising the status of other women journalists. Her own prowess as a broadcaster exploring socially important issues and as top-notch interviewer were undeniable. In addition, she excelled at bringing to the television public subjects that ranged from show business personalities to heads of state.

In September 2000, Walter renewed her contract with ABC. The lucrative deal reportedly pays Walters $12 million per year, making her one of the highest paid news anchors in the world.

For More Information

Malone, Mary. Barbara Walters: TV Superstar. Hillside, NJ: Enslow, 1990.

Oppenheimer, Jerry. Barbara Walters: An Unauthorized Biography. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.

Remstein, Henna. Barbara Walters. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1999.

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Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters

Drawing the highest pay in the history of television broadcasting at the time, Barbara Walters (born 1931) became the first woman co-anchor of a network evening newscast. She developed to a high art the interviewing of public figures.

Barbara Walters was born to Dena (Selett) and Lou Walters. Her father operated a number of nightclubs, resulting in Barbara attending schools in Boston, New York, and Miami Beach. She earned a B.A. degree in English from Sarah Lawrence College (1954). After working briefly as a secretary she landed a job with NBC's (the National Broadcasting Company's) New York affiliate WRCA-TV where she quickly rose to producer and writer. She also held various writing and public relations jobs, including a stint as women's-program producer at WPIX-TV in New York.

Her abilities and experience in research, writing, filming, and editing earned her a job as news and public affairs producer for CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) television. There she wrote materials for noted personalities who appeared on the CBS morning show that competed with NBC's Today program. She left CBS because she believed further advancement was unlikely.

In 1961 she was hired by NBC as a writer with an occasional on-the-air feature for the Today show. Within three years Walters became an on-camera interviewer and persuaded such notables as Mamie Eisenhower, Anwar Sadat, and H. R. Haldeman to appear with her.

Meanwhile, a number of different "show-business" women held the post as the "Today girl," but none held news credentials. Mainly they engaged in small talk and read commercials. Some at NBC began to think a different kind of woman might help the show. When the spot was unexpectedly vacated, Walters was given the "Today girl" slot on a trial basis. The public readily accepted this bright, on-the-air newswoman, who also continued to write and produce much of her own material. A few months later Hugh Downs said Walters was the best thing that had happened to the Today show during his time as host. They would later be teamed on ABC's program 20/20 as competition to CBS's Sixty Minutes.

Today feature stories by Walters included socially significant topics, and frequently she got on-the-spot experience which gave her reports even more credibility. As her reputation grew, NBC made her a radio commentator on Emphasis and Monitor. She also participated in such NBC specials as "The Pill" and "The Sexual Revolution" (1967), and in 1969 she covered the investiture of Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales.

Finally in 1974 Walters was named co-host of the Today show. By then, her status as a broadcaster had risen to such heights that she had twice been named to Harper's Bazaar's list of "100 Women of Accomplishment" (1967 and 1971), Ladies Home Journal's "75 Most Important Women" (1970), and Time's "200 Leaders of the Future" (1974). As the most influential woman on television, others soon vied for her talents.

In 1976 she accepted a million-dollar-a-year contract for five years to move to ABC, where she became television's first network anchor-woman, the most prestigious job in television journalism. She also anchored and produced four prime-time specials and sometimes hosted or appeared on the network's other news and documentary programs. Her contract stirred professional criticism and jealousy. It not only doubled her income from NBC and her syndicated show, Not For Women Only, but it also made her the highest-paid newscaster in history at that time. (Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, and Harry Reasoner then received about $400,000.) Reasoner, with whom she was to co-anchor, seemed especially miffed at first but later was mollified.

Executives of other networks fumed that their established anchors might demand salary increases, questioned what they perceived as a "show-biz" tint to the sober task of news reporting, and questioned whether the public would accept a woman news-anchor. (ABC's private polls before they made their record offer indicated only 13 percent preferred a male anchor, and they knew her presence could easily increase advertising revenues far exceeding her salary.)

Despite Walters' tart, probing interviewing techniques, she seldom seemed to alienate the person she was interviewing. She revealed some of the secrets of her success in her book How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything (1970). Others attributed her interviewing success to her uncanny ability to ask primarily those questions which the public would want answered.

Still, Walters was not without her critics. Some interview-subjects said her nervousness distracted them. Others claimed she was so eager that disastrous mistakes occurred, citing the instance when she grabbed another network's microphone as she dashed to get a unique interview. Washington press corps members charged that she acted more as a "star" than as a reporter on presidential trips. However, her professional admirers outnumbered her detractors. Walter Cronkite noted her special interviewing talents. Sally Quinn, former rival on CBS Morning News, commented how "nice" Walters was to her.

Walters' personal life held considerable interest to the public. Her brief marriage to businessman Bob Katz was annulled; her 13-year marriage to Lee Guber, a theatrical producer, ended in divorce. Still they remained congenial, sharing mutual love for their daughter, Jacqueline Dena. In 1985 she married Merv Adelson, who had also previously been wed twice.

Walters' elevation to top-paid broadcaster was credited with raising the status of other women journalists. Her own prowess as a broadcaster exploring socially-important issues and as top-notch interviewer were undeniable. In addition, she excelled at bringing to the television public reluctant interview-subjects that ranged from show business personalities to heads of state.

Walters has had a reputation for often being the first to interview world leaders. During the 1996 presidential campaign she interviewed the first African American Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, after his retirement. She has also had exclusive interviews with both Christopher Dardin and Robert Shapiro of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, noted by the media as one of the most controversial murder trials of the twentieth century. Walters also had exclusive interviews with billionaire David Geffen and with Christopher Reeves following the horseback riding fall that left him paralyzed.

In 1996 Walters celebrated 20 years with ABC. At the time, she was earning $10 million per year.

Further Reading

Biographical data for Barbara Walters is primarily found in her book How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything (1970). In addition to the periodicals cited in the biography see Newsweek (May 19, 1969); Reader's Digest (May 1974); Vogue (June 1975); Newsweek (May 3, 1976); Time (May 3, 1976); and Ladies Home Journal (July 1983; June 1984). □

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"Barbara Walters." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Barbara Walters." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/barbara-walters