Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Barbara Walters

First Woman Co-Anchor of Network Evening News

More From Barbara

In this video

Tagged as

Barbara Walters on breaking barrier after barrier in TV news, the off-camera struggle, and women's support.

Barbara's Biography

Cause of Choice: AHRC New York City
College Career Ambitions: Teacher
Top Talent: “I'm a good editor, that's what I do best.”
Secret Talent: She took a speedwriting course after college and finished first in her class.

Barbara Walters is easily America’s most celebrated interviewer who, in May 2013, announced she would retire from TV journalism in 2014. She has spoken with more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history and earned more accolades and acclaim than virtually anyone appearing on one of her famous "Barbara Walters Specials." Walters began her career more than five decades ago as a writer on NBC’sToday show and within a year was developing, writing, and editing her own reports and interviews. She became the show’s co-host—unprecedented for a woman—in 1963, but waited almost eleven years for the network to name her officially as such. Walters was among the NBC News team that went to the People’s Republic of China to cover the visits of Presidents Nixon in 1972 and Ford in 1975. 
 
The following year, ABC caused a "battle of the sexes" sensation by hiring her away for ABC Evening News and making her, at once, the first woman to co-anchor an evening network newscast and the highest-paid figure in TV journalism. She served as co-host of 20/20 for 25 years and has interviewed every American president and First Lady since Richard Nixon. In 1977, Walters’ massive visibility and stature helped her make journalistic—and world—history by arranging the first joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Another “first” she accomplished was an hour-long primetime conversation with Cuban President Fidel Castro. She is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and she hasn’t stopped yet. Walters remains an ABC News correspondent and is co-host and executive producer of ABC Daytime's The View, a program she created.

Related Videos

Sara Ziff
Sara Ziff
Filmmaker & Advocate

At the age of 14, Sara Ziff was walking home from school in New York City, when she was scouted to become a model. Ziff's experiences as a young model eventually fed into a des...

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
First Woman Variety Show Host

A child of Hollywood, but not of means, Carol Burnett had to fight her way into the playwright program at UCLA. An acting class was a requirement and Burnett would always remember ...

Pat Mitchell
Pat Mitchell
Television Pioneer

Pat Mitchell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of The Paley Center for Media in New York City and the former President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PB...

Mazie Hirono
Mazie Hirono
U.S. Senator (D-Hawaii)

Mazie Hirono currently serves as a United States Senator from Hawaii. She is the first Asian-American woman, the first Buddhist, and the first woman from Hawaii to be elected to th...