Legendary reporter, interviewer, news anchor, author and television personality Barbara Walters died at 93 this past Friday (Dec. 30), ABC News reports. Understandably, many fans, colleagues and celebrities have begun mourning the loss of the groundbreaking journalist, including illustrious musician Paul McCartney.
Born in Massachusetts in 1929, Walters grew up around famous people because her father, Louis, was a booking agent and nightclub producer. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1953, she worked as a writer and/or publicist for NBC and CBS. In 1961, she joined NBC’s The Today Show, and by the mid-1970s, she’d also hosted her own show (Not for Women Only) and co-anchored ABC’s Evening News alongside Harry Reasoner.
As ABC News aptly notes, this means that Walters became “the first female anchor on an evening news program.”
Of course, she’s perhaps best known for co-hosting 20/20 from 1979 until her retirement in 2004, as well as co-hosting The View from 1997 until her retirement in 2014. Along the way, she conducted dozens of significant interviews with people such as Boris Yeltsin, Michael Jackson, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Carter, Monica Lewinsky, Caitlyn Jenner, Elton John and Dolly Parton.
In 1987, she even hosted a 20/20 special called “The Children of Heavy Metal” that investigated the evolving culture and impact of the genre from multiple perspectives.
In addition to penning two books – 1970’s How to Talk with Practically Anybody about Practically Anything and 2008’s Audition: A Memoir – she received numerous accolades. For instance, she won several Daytime Emmy Awards (and was nominated for exponentially more), as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2000.
Clearly, Walters was as pioneering as she was accomplished and beloved, which is why it’s no surprise that McCartney honored the late trailblazer on Twitter earlier today (Dec. 31). In his multipart tweet, he wrote:
Nancy [Shevell, wife] and I are so saddened by the news of her dear cousin Barbara Walters’ passing. The two of them enjoyed a deep loving relationship over many years and I was proud to share some of those special moments. Barbara was an amazing woman who more than held her own in the early days of male-dominated television and went on to become a worldwide celebrity known for her many perceptive interviews with stars from every walk of life. We will miss her but always remember her with great fondness.
Well said, Sir Paul. You can see his full series of tweets below.
Also, Loudwire offers our condolences to all of Walters’ family, friends, colleagues and anyone else whose life she touched.
Paul McCartney Remembers Barbara Walters
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