Updated Dec 31, 2022 - Economy & Business

Longtime ABC news anchor Barbara Walters dies at 93

Promotional portrait of television journalist Barbara Walters on the set of the Today Show.

Promotional portrait of television journalist Barbara Walters on the set of the Today Show. Photo: Raymond Borea/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Longtime ABC News anchor Barbara Walters passed away on Friday, the network announced. She was 93.

The big picture: Walters became the first female anchor on an evening news program in 1976 when she joined ABC News.

  • Walters became a co-host of "20/20" three years later, before launching "The View" in 1997.
  • Her last appearance as a co-host on the show was in 2014, but she stayed as an executive producer, per ABC.

By the numbers: Walters won 12 Emmy awards in her career, with 11 of those coming during her time at ABC News.

Walters had an extensive career that included exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in the world — from Russian President Vladimir Putin to former President Nixon to Judy Garland and Bette Midler

  • She also paved the way for many prominent newswomen, including Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Robin Roberts and Connie Chung, per AP.

What they're saying: Walters' former colleagues and other celebrities spoke about her as a singular journalist and generous colleague in tributes shared Saturday.

  • Diane Sawyer said in a statement to ABC News that Walters "was a trailblazer, a singular force who opened the door for every woman in television news."
  • Journalist Dan Rather said Walters "outworked, out-thought, and out-hustled her competitors. She left the world the better for it. She will be deeply missed. 
  • Former President Trump said Walters "was the greatest of them all, by far. I knew her well, was interviewed by her many times, and there was nobody like the legendary Barbara Walters - And never will be!"
  • Bob Iger, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement that Walters "was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself."
  • NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said on Twitter that "Walters never flinched when questioning the world’s most powerful people. She held them accountable. She cared about the truth and she made us care too."
  • Oprah Winfrey posted on Instagram about Walters, saying "she was such a powerful and gracious role model."

In May 2014, the ABC News Headquarters in New York was renamed "The Barbara Walters Building." And Walters accepted the honor and talked about her legacy.

  • "People ask me very often, 'what is your legacy?' and it's not the interviews with presidents, or heads of state, nor celebrities. If I have a legacy, and I've said this before and I mean it so sincerely, I hope that I played a small role in paving the way for so many of you fabulous women."

She made a final appearance as a co-host of "The View" that same year, ABC News reports. Though she stayed on as an executive producer and continued to work with ABC for projects, she said she understood what the future would bring her.

  • "I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain," she said then, per ABC. "I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men too — who will be taking my place."
In photos: A look at Barbara Walters' career
Television journalist for NBC Barbara Walters takes a phone call at her desk, New York City.
Television journalist for NBC Barbara Walters takes a phone call at her desk, New York City. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Joy Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Barbara Walters of "The View"
Joy Behar, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira and Barbara Walters of "The View." Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann Romney appeared today on "The View."
Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney appeared today on "The View." Photo: Donna Svennevik/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images
President Jimmy Carter joins the co-hosts on today's episode of "The View."
Former President Jimmy Carter joins the co-hosts on today's episode of "The View." Photo: Donna Svennevik/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images
 actor Robert DiNiro; Barbara Walters; and David Rockefeller, former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, attend a news conference.
Actor Robert DiNiro; Barbara Walters; and David Rockefeller, former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, attend a news conference. Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
Barbara Walters listens as US President Barack Obama speaks during a break in a taping of "The View" at ABC Studios September 24, 2012 in New York, New York.
Barbara Walters listens as former President Barack Obama speaks during a break in a taping of "The View" in 2012 in New York. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/GettyImages
President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford on ABC News with broadcast journalist Barbara Walters.
Former President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford on ABC News with broadcast journalist Barbara Walters. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
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