Born In: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Barbara Jill Walters is a television personality and broadcast journalist who first became famous as the segment producer of women’s interest stories on the NBC News program ‘The Today Show’. Highly acclaimed for her exceptional interviewing ability and journalistic standards, she was the first woman ever to acquire the title ‘co-host’ for any news program. She was very popular with the viewers because of which she was allotted more air time by the channel. An ambitious woman who became a role model for other female journalists to follow, she became the first female co-anchor of any network evening news when she worked with Harry Reasoner on the ‘ABC Evening News’. Since then she has hosted several morning television shows like ‘Today’ and ‘The View’. For twenty-five years she worked as the co-host and producer of the news magazine ‘20/20’ from 1979 to 2004. She is noted for her candid, no nonsense style of speaking and is known to never mince words even when speaking about sensitive issues. Her field of specialty is personality journalism and she has had the distinction of interviewing several world leaders, including the Shah of Iran, Russia’s Boris Yeltsin, China’s Jiang Semin, Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi and India’s Indira Gandhi.
Also Known As: Barbara Jill Walters
Spouse/Ex-: Lee Guber (1963–1976), Merv Adelson (1981–1984; 1986–1992), Robert Henry Katz (1955–1957)
father: Louis Edward Walters
mother: Dena Seletsky
siblings: Burton Walters, Jacqueline Walters
children: Jacqueline Dena Guber
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Polish American
Grouping of People: Jewish Journalist
U.S. State: Massachusetts
education: Sarah Lawrence College
She was born on September 25, 1929, to Jewish parents Dena and Louis Walters in Boston. Her father worked as a Broadway producer and was also the Entertainment Director for the Tropicana Resort and Casino.
In 1953, she produced a 15- minute children’s program, ‘Ask the Camera’ which was directed by Roone Arledge. In 1955, she became a writer of ‘The Morning Show’ at CBS. She joined Tex McCrary Inc. as a publicist and then worked for a few years as a writer at the ‘Redbook’ magazine.
Barbara Walters joined NBC’s ‘The Today Show’ as a writer and researcher in 1961, and soon became the show’s regular ‘Today Girl’. During those times women were given only lighter assignments like the weather to report.
She was teamed up with Harry Reasoner as a co-anchor on the ‘ABC Evening News in 1976-78. However, the two had a very difficult working relationship as Reasoner did not like having a female co-anchor.
She joined the ABC newsmagazine ’20/20’ in 1979, and became a regular special contributor by 1981. She worked together with Hugh Downs for years and had a great working relationship with him.
She took semi-retirement in 2004. She no longer worked as a broadcast journalist but continued as a correspondent for ABC News as well as a host of ABC’s special programs. She also continued to co-host ‘The View’. She announced that she will retire fully in May 2014.
Barbara Walters was first married to a business executive Robert Henry Katz in 1955. The marriage was very short lived.
Her third marriage was to Merv Adelson, the CEO of Lorimar television in 1981. They divorced in 1984 only to remarry in 1986. They again divorced in 1992.