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31 Dec, 2022 12:59

TV legend Barbara Walters dies

She was the first US reporter to interview Vladimir Putin
TV legend Barbara Walters dies

Renowned American TV journalist Barbara Walters, who became the first woman to anchor evening news, has died at the age of 93, her spokesman has confirmed.

“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women,” the journalist’s representative Cindi Berger said on Saturday.

Walters’ career in the industry spanned 50 years, bringing her 12 Emmy awards and making her one of the most respected news broadcasters in the US.

She landed her first TV job with NBC in the 1960s, and then moved on to ABC in 1976, becoming the first female host of an evening news show in the country.

Walters was involved with a number of successful programs at ABC, including “The Barbara Walters Specials” and “10 Most Fascinating People,” before taking the role of co-host and correspondent for ABC News’ “20/20” in 1984.

The journalist’s last show on the channel was The View, which she left in 2014, but she remained a part-time contributor to ABC News for several years after that.

During her time in the spotlight, Walters interviewed all the sitting US presidents and first ladies starting from Richard and Pat Nixon all the way to Barack and Michelle Obama. She spoke with Donald and Melania Trump during the campaign ahead of the 2016 election. Her guests included many foreign leaders, movie stars, athletes and other high-profile celebrities.

The first ever interview given to an American outlet by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was also conducted by Walters back in 2001.

Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC News, described Walters as “a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism, but for journalism itself.” The broadcaster was behind “many of the most important interviews of our time,” Iger said, adding that she will be thoroughly missed.