By Avery Hoggans
Barbara Jill Walters was born September 25th, 1929, in Boston, Massachusetts. She was born Jewish, although her parents, Dena and Lou Walters, were not practicing Jews. As a child, Walters and her family moved to Miami, Florida after her father’s chain of nightclubs expanded. She attended the Fieldston and Birch Wathen private school in New York, and graduated from Miami Beach High School, in 1947. She landed her first job in journalism at WRCA-TV, as the assistant to publicity director Tex McCary, in 1953.
In 1955, while writing for CBS, she married Robert Henry Katz, a business executive. They later divorced in 1958. When 1961 came along, Walters was hired at NBC. She was a researcher for the Today Show, and her stories were always focused to be appealing to a female audience. Her focused audience changed when Walters traveled with the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, on a trip through India and Pakistan. This trip was her breakthrough moment as a female reporter and allowed her more responsibility at the network. She remained on the Today Show, for 11 years and developed her casual yet effective interviewing technique. This technique made her a very established and well-known journalist. So well known in fact, that she was chosen to be part of the press corps that accompanied President Nixon on his historic China trip, in 1972. Later, in 1975 she won her first Emmy Award, for best daytime entertainment.
Barbara Walters has been nominated for many awards through her historic career. She has won ten awards, including 6 Emmy Awards, 1 GLAAD Award, 1 Glamour Award, 1 Special Classification Award, and many others. These awards show just how dynamic Walters is, as a journalist and as a person. She has also interviewed some of the biggest names of the 20 and 21st Century, like Christopher Reeves, after his tragic horse accident that left him paralyzed, or Monica Lewinsky, after she allegedly had sexual relations with President Clinton.
Through the decades that Barbara Walters iconic career has spanned, she becomes one of the most relevant television journalists of all time. As of 2013, Walters has been retired, admitting that she would like to watch from the sidelines, as the bright young men and women of this generation take her place, as the next iconic reporter in television journalism.