Jake’s Take On…Barbara Walters’s retirement

Barbara Walters retirement

After more than 50 years of being on television, legendary reporter Barbara Walters is retiring! (Photo property of ABC News)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

One of my biggest heroes and inspirations is Barbara Walters!

She is a huge pioneer in the journalism world. Without her, so many reporters and anchors such as Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Ann Curry and Lesley Stahl would not have the opportunity to enter the world of television news.

Barbara was born on September 25, 1934 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her family moved from Boston to Miami when her father, Lou, expanded on his highly successful nightclub empire in 1937.

She graduated from Miami Beach High School in 1947 and later moved on attend Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English in 1953.

After a brief stint as a secretary and serving as publicity assistant to WRCA-TV’s Tex McCray, Barbara Walters set her sights onto the developing world of broadcast news. She left WRCA-TV and increased her talents as an interviewer and a producer when she joined CBS’s Morning Show.

During the early 1960s, she joined The Today Show as one of the show’s signature Today Girls. However, producers saw her talent and within a year, she became a reporter-at-large. Ms. Walters officially became the first female co-host of a daytime news program in 1974.

Two years later, Ms. Walters exited NBC to join ABC as the first female co-anchor of the ABC Evening News. However, it was not easy journey. Several of her co-workers on both networks (particularly Frank McGee and Harry Reasoner) voiced their displeasure with Barbara on-and-off camera.

 

Barbara Walters has interviewed countless world leaders, entertainment icons and controversial figures including Fidel Castro, Michael Jackson and Monica Lewinsky. (Photo property of ABC)

Barbara Walters has interviewed countless world leaders, entertainment icons and controversial figures including Fidel Castro, Michael Jackson and Monica Lewinsky. (Photo property of ABC)

However, she did not listen to her naysayers and continued on her journey. In addition of working on the ABC Evening News, she reunited with her former Today colleague Hugh Downs and rejuvenated ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20. Some of her historic interviews included sit-downs with world leaders Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, Margaret Thatcher and an exclusive joint conversation with both former Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

In addition to talking to talking to world leaders, Ms. Walters spoke with numerous United States Presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. She also interviewed controversial figures including Rush Limbaugh, Monica Lewinsky, the Kardashians and V. Stiviano.

Ms. Walters dived head first into Hollywood as she interviewed some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry ranging from legendary icons such as the late Lucille Ball and the late Michael Jackson to her fellow trailblazers Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. These interviews led her to create the annual special, Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People, where she has interviewed the biggest names in politics, sports and entertainment. Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton has the record of being the Most Fascinating Person four times. Tom Hanks, Sarah Palin, Susan Lucci, Tiger Woods, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are among the multiple people that made her list more than once.

 

All past and present "The View" co-hosts pose together on Barbara Walters' second-to-last episode of "The View." (Photo property of ABC's Lou Rocco)

All past and present “The View” co-hosts pose together on Barbara Walters’ second-to-last episode of “The View.” (Photo property of ABC’s Lou Rocco)

One of the biggest parts of Ms. Walters’s legacy to the Millennial Generation was the introduction of The View. Co-created with her longtime creative partner, Bill Geddie, in 1997, The View gathered five women together to talk about the hottest topics in both the political and entertainment worlds. Among the women that sat alongside Barbara included Meredith Vieira, Joy Behar, Star Jones, Lisa Ling, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Rosie O’ Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg.

As ABC begins celebrating her career this morning on Good Morning America and The View and later on tonight with a two-hour retrospective, I want to say on behalf of the millions of viewers and countless of reporters who were inspired by you…Thank you for your time, dedication and passion. We love you, respect you and will miss you!

Enjoy your retirement, Ms. Walters….you definitely earned it!

All clips that are sprinkled into this article are properties of ABC.

 

 

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  1. […] not put down. As a longtime fan of The View, I loved reading this expose! I enjoyed learning about Barbara Walters’ time on the show to the Whoopi versus Rosie drama that followed in Season 18. If you are a superfan […]

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar