Barbara Jill Walters was born on September 25, 1929 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her parents are Louis “Lou” Walters and Dena Seletsky. Walters’ father was in the entertainment industry. Lou Walters opened the New York version of the Latin Quarter, a night club. He also was a Broadway producer. Lou Walters took on the role of Entertainment Director for the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Walters was around show business and celebrities for much of her life.
Walters attended Ethical Culture Fieldston School and Birch Wathen Lenox School, both private schools in New York City. Walters graduated from Miami Beach High School in 1947. In 1951 she received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sarah Lawrence College.
After college Walters spent a small amount of time as a publicist with Tex McCrary Inc. and she took a job as a writer at CBS News. Walters joined NBC’s The Today Show as a writer and researcher in 1961. Walters moved up at NBC. Eventually she became a regular on the show, taking on small assignments and presenting the weather. As Walters progressed she became a reporter-at-large developing, writing, and editing her own reports and interviews. In 1974 Walters became the show’s first female co-host. Walters was a morning news anchor for Today for over ten years.
Another first for Walters was as the first female co-anchor of the evening news. Walter’s held that role for the ABC Evening News from 1976 to 1978.
Walters is also known for her years on the ABC news show 20/20 where she joined host Hugh Downs in 1979. Walters spent twenty-five years on 20/20. Walters also served as a correspondent for ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson.
Today Walters is a part-time host of the daytime talk show The View. She is also co-creator and co-executive producer of The View. Walters has received many honors for her work. In 1975 She earned the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host (Today). In 2003 she was awarded the Emmy for Best Talk Show (The View). Walter’s received the Daytime Emmy once more for Outstanding Talk Show Host (The View) in 2009.
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