Barbara Walters passes away at 93; Donald Trump, others pay tribute to the trailblazing journalist

Pioneering newswoman Barbara Walters passed away on Friday at 93 years old, bringing an end to the remarkable life of a woman who shattered journalism’s glass ceiling and who, during her long career that spanned seven decades, interviewed some of recent history’s most renowned figures including every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama before she retired in 2014.

“Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists, but for all women,” said Walters’ representative Cindi Berger.

ABC, where Walters made history as the first female news anchor and where she did her best work with a long-running stint on the network’s flagship newsmagazine “20/20” as well as created the popular daytime talk show “The View,” broke into its Friday night broadcast to announce her passing on air.

“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself,” said Bob Iger who is the CEO of Disney, ABC’s parent company. “She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state to leaders of regimes to the biggest celebrities and sports icons.”

“I had the pleasure of calling Barbara a colleague for more than three decades, but more importantly, I was able to call her a dear friend,” Iger added in a statement. “She will be missed by all of us at The Walt Disney Company, and we send our deepest condolences to her daughter, Jacqueline.”

Also breaking in to regularly scheduled broadcasting was Fox News with media contributor Joe Concha summing up her storied career.

(Video: Fox News)

“For five decades in this industry, which as you know, as I know is so tough, to not only survive but excel the way she did is nothing short of remarkable,” he said. “Barbara Walters, for perspective has been working in journalism since 1951 until she retired just a few years ago and she went into journalism into her late eighties and was great at doing it.”

Tributes for Walters poured in.

“The world of journalism has lost a pillar of professionalism, courage, and integrity. Barbara Walters was a trailblazer and a true pro. She outworked, out-thought, and out-hustled her competitors. She left the world the better for it. She will be deeply missed. RIP,” tweeted longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather.

“She was the greatest of them all, by far. I knew her well, was interviewed by her many times, and there was nobody like the legendary Barbara Walters – And never will be!” Former President Donald J. Trump wrote on Truth Social.

“Barbara Walters was the OG of female broadcasters. She was just as comfortable interviewing world leaders as she was Oscar winners and she had to fight like hell for every interview. I deeply admired her and she was incredibly supportive through the years. … As I wrote in my book, she liked to say we were similar in that neither of us was particularly glamorous. I never quite knew how to take that, although being in Barbara’s mold was nothing but a compliment,” wrote former “Today” show co-host and network news anchor Katie Couric on Instagram.

“Barbara was a trailblazer, a singular force who opened the door for every woman in television news… Sadness. Gratitude. And a salute from all of us who know what we owe her,” said journalist and anchor Diane Sawyer in a statement.

David Muir, anchor of “ABC World News Tonight” tweeted, “So often we toss around the words icon, legend, trailblazer – but Barbara Walters was all of these. And perhaps, above all else, Barbara Walters was brave. She paved the way for so many – we learned from her – and remain in awe of her to this day. RIP, Barbara.”

Barbara Walters was a true trailblazer. Forever grateful for her stellar example and for her friendship. Sending condolences to her daughter and family.,” wrote “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts.

Former co-host of “The View” Meghan McCain wrote, “Barbara Walters will always be known as a trail blazer. Her hard hitting questions & welcoming demeanor made her a household name and leader in American journalism. Her creation of ‘The View’ is something I will always be appreciative of. Rest in peace you will forever be an icon.”

“Without Barbara Walters there wouldn’t have been me — nor any other woman you see on evening, morning, and daily news. She was indeed a Trailblazer. I did my very first television audition with her in mind the whole time. Grateful that she was such a powerful and gracious role model. Grateful to have known her. Grateful to have followed in her Light,” talk show queen Oprah Winfrey wrote on Instagram.

Born in 1929, Walters would pave the way for women in journalism from her early days as a writer in the industry to NBC’s “Today Show” and later to ABC where she became a familiar face to generations of Americans.

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Chris Donaldson


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