How Barbara Walters went from ‘Today Girl’ to pioneering media star

The first woman to co-anchor the evening news, she endured the scorn of her male counterparts.


Long before she became the first woman to co-anchor a network newscast and the foremost prime-time interviewer of heads of state and Hollywood stars, Barbara Walters understood the power of television.

When she was a teenager in New York City, she saw that TV provided an escape for her cognitively disabled sister, who spent hours watching “I Love Lucy” and “Texaco Star Theater.” And it wasn’t lost on her how her father’s nightclub business fell off in part because of television's ability to keep people in their living rooms at night, rather than out on the town.

Ms. Walters, who died on Friday at age 93, had spent more than five decades in front of the camera and become a titan of the medium: lauded for the subjects she scored, criticized for her coziness with them, even memed for how she presented herself.

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