Barbara Walters, one of the world’s most prominent figures in broadcasting has died aged 93.
On Friday night, the US television network ABC interrupted its show to break the news of Walters’ passing.
Her death was confirmed by her representative, Cindi Berger, who said Walters died “peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones.”
Walters made her name interviewing leaders, monarchs, and celebrities during her nearly 40 years at ABC and earlier at NBC. This earned Walter’s superstar status and put her at the fore of a movement that turned television reporters into celebrities.
Numerous foreign leaders were subjected to interviews by Walters, including Fidel Castro of Cuba, Margaret Thatcher of Britain, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin of Russia, and every US president and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon.
According to Aljazeera, in 1961, Walters, who had graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1943, was given a brief behind-the-scenes job at NBC’s Today program. She then started receiving airtime for unusual stories like the trials of a Playboy bunny or a day in the life of a nun, and she started appearing regularly on the show.
Oprah Winfrey, a media entrepreneur, said Walters was in her thoughts when she landed her first TV news audition. Winfrey began her career in radio and television in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me — nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news,” she posted on her Instagram.