BARBARA WALTERS Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Barbara Walters                                                                 
Born: 25 September 1929 Brookline, Massachusetts, USA                                 
Barbara Jill Walters (born September 25, 1929) is an American journalist,             
writer, and media personality who has been a regular fixture on morning               
television shows (Today and The View), an evening news magazine (20/20), and on       
The ABC Evening News as the first female evening news anchor. Walters was first       
known as a popular TV morning news anchor for over 10 years on NBC's Today,           
where she worked with Hugh Downs and later hosts Frank McGee and Jim Hartz.           
Walters later spent 25 years as co-host of ABC's newsmagazine 20/20. She was the     
first woman to co-anchor the network evening news, working with Harry Reasoner       
on The ABC Evening News.                                                             
Walters was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the daughter of Dena (nee Seletsky)     
and Louis Edward Walters, a theatrical booking agent and producer. In 1937,           
her father opened the first of a famous chain of nightclubs known as the Latin       
Quarter; he also was a Broadway producer (he produced the Ziegfeld Follies of         
1943). Walters' elder sister, Jacqueline, was born developmentally disabled           
and died of ovarian cancer in 1988. Her brother, Burton, died in 1932 of             
pneumonia. Walters' parents were Jewish, although she did not have a                 
religious upbringing, as her father had become an atheist.                           
Being surrounded by celebrities when she was young kept her from being "in awe"       
of them. When she was a young woman, Walters' father lost his nightclubs and         
the family's penthouse on Central Park West. As Walters recalled, "He had a           
breakdown. He went down to live in our house in Florida, and then the Government     
took the house, and they took the car, and they took the furniture". Of her           
mother, she said, "My mother should have married the way her friends did, a man       
who was a doctor or who was in the dress business".                                   
After attending Fieldston and Birch Wathen private schools in New York City,         
Walters graduated from Miami Beach High School in 1947. In 1951, she received a       
B.A. in English from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.