Fans of longtime television anchor Barbara Walters were left in shock late last week after learning that the legendary journalist had died.
According to Fox News, Walters was 93 years old when she passed away on Friday following a career that spanned across six decades.
First female television news anchor
After getting her start as a writer for CBS, Walters broke new ground in 1974 when she was hired to serve as an anchor on NBC’s “Today,” becoming the first woman to hold such a position.
Walters then became the nation’s first female evening news anchor when she moved to ABC News in 1976 and earned a then unheard-of million dollar salary.
Her fame was further solidified when she was signed as a co-host of “20/20,” a position that led her to interview a variety of world figures.
They included Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, President Richard Nixon, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy along with pop musician Justin Bieber.
Fox News noted that Walters helped create ABC’s “The View” in 1997, appearing alongside co-hosts Meredith Viera, Star Jones, Joy Behar, and Debbie Matenopoulos.
Regarding her time in the spotlight, Fox News quoted Walters as saying in 2004 that she “never expected this,” adding, “I always thought I’d be a writer for television. I never even thought I’d be in front of a camera.”
Walters remembered fondly by colleagues
Tributes to Walters quickly appeared on social media, including from sports reporter Olivia Garvey, who called her “an incredible woman.”
RIP Barbara Walters!
We lost such an incredible woman today 💔 pic.twitter.com/J9Y4vp33o3
— Olivia Garvey (@Olivia7News) December 31, 2022
Although Walters was known for leaning towards the left in her personal views, that didn’t stop conservatives like Fox News contributor Joe Concha from praising her record.
“[W]e talk about liberal bias and we talk about all the things that are wrong with media now today in America,” Concha said on Friday.
“But there was a time, particularly back in the seventies, in the eighties, where Barbara Walters was a great journalist and a real trailblazer, for that matter, for females within this profession as far as anchoring before anybody else even thought about putting a female anchor on the air,” he continued.
“And then obviously she came up with the idea for ‘The View’ back in the nineties,” Choncha continued. “It’s not the ‘View’ that we watch today, obviously, but her idea at the time was an exchange of ideas and debate from all sides. And she will be missed.”