Barbara Walters' Legacy: A Tribute to the Trailblazing TV Journalist by Ann Marie Patitucci
Across more than five decades of interviewing world leaders and celebrities on news programs, her TV specials, The View, in celebrities’ homes and more, Walters was known for her interviewing skills as well as her unique voice and speech. She won multiple Emmys and a Peabody Award and also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Walters broke barriers and was not only a pioneer and inspiration for women journalists but also for all women. Indeed, Walters believed the women who looked to her as a role model were her legacy. When she left The View in 2014, she told Chris Cuomo on his CNN show, “My legacy, I think, is paving the way, a little bit, for women who did not have the opportunity when I was beginning. I see so many wonderful women now on television. That’s my legacy...”
The View paid tribute to Barbara Walters in their first live episode of the year. Current panelists Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin opened the talk show with a brief introduction and their own memories of Walters. Behar, the only original co-host still on the panel today, offered, “She was the original role model for everybody else ... She was not just a friend to us; she was really one of a kind and very important to the industry.”
Then the panelists invited former co-hosts (both in-studio and virtually) to share their memories of Walters and their time on The View, which Walters launched in 1997. The episode concluded with video clips of memorable moments on the show, including Walters’ interview with Pres. Barack Obama, as well as a clip from her final episode on The View in 2014, in which Oprah Winfrey brought out 25 female journalists to honor Walters’ incredible career and bid her farewell.
THANK YOU, Ms. Walters. May you rest in peace, knowing that your legacy lives on.
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