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Barbara Walters Biography – Early Life, Career & Relationships

Barbara Walters Biography

Barbara Walters is a known name in the entertainment industry thanks to her decades-long career as a broadcast journalist and TV show host. She has worked on many popular projects such as Today, ABC Evening News, The View, and 20/20 and is known for her interviewing ability. Moreover, she has made numerous television histories and is a pioneer for women in television and broadcasting.

Well, Barbara has retired from her career but still is a significant part of the journalism and entertainment world. So, there are people around the world who have shown interest in knowing more about her. So, in this biography, we will take a look at Walters’s early life, professional journey, relationship history, and more.

Where Are Barbara Walters And Her Family From?

The broadcast journalist was born Barbara Jill Walters in Boston, Massachusetts, on 25th September 1929. However, during an on-camera interview, she claimed to have been born in 1931. She was one of three children of Louis Walters and Dena Walters ( Dena Seletsky) and grew up alongside her brother, Burton Walters, and sister, Jacqueline Walters. Sadly both of Barbara Walters’ siblings are no longer alive as Burton passed away of pneumonia while Jacqueline died of ovarian cancer.

As for Barbara’s parents, Louis and Dena were both Jewish and came from a family of refugees from the former Russian Empire. As per various sources, her paternal grandfather was a Polish native named Abraham Isaac Warmwater who later emigrated to the UK and changed his name to Abraham Walters. Louis aka Lou, Walters’ father was born in London and then moved to New York with his father and his brothers in 1909. The rest of the family, Louis’ mother, and sisters moved in 1910.

Barbara Walters’ father managed the Latin Quarter nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts, and later opened a new version of the business in New York. He also worked on Broadway as a producer which resulted in Barbara being introduced to performers from an early age.

Moreover, she reportedly was in awe of the celebrities she was surrounded by on Broadway and in her father’s nightclub.

However, Barbara has stated that her dad managed to amass and also lose several fortunes throughout his life. His work in show business was not stable and resulted in the family experiencing a varied lifestyle. But it seems like Walters was supported by her family in every step she took.

What School And Colleges Have Barbara Walters Attended?

Aforementioned, due to her father’s work, Barbara grew up in numerous cities in the US and also attended different schools. She was first enrolled in a public school in Brookline, Massachusetts, and studied there till the middle of fifth grade. The Walters family then moved to Miami Beach in 1939 and she attended a public school there too.

The family later relocated to New York City and Barbara completed her eighth grade at the private school, Ethical Culture Fieldston School. However, they moved back and forth between Miami Beach and New York once again.

Walters then completed her high school studies in 1947 at Birch Wathen School. Following this, she enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College and received a BA in English. She started her professional journey soon after.

What Work Has Barbara Walters Done Over The Years?

As stated above, Barbara Walters began her professional journey soon after her college graduation. She spent a year at an advertising agency and then joined WNBT-TV, an NBC network affiliate where she did publicity and wrote press releases. Then in the 50s, Walters produced the children’s program Ask the Camera and also worked for Igor Cassini, a television host. She then worked as a producer for Eloise McElhone Show which was canceled in 1954.

The following year, Barbara joined CBS’ The Morning Show as a writer. She then worked as a publicist and a writer at Redbook Magazine before joining NBC’s The Today Show as a researcher and writer in 1961. She was a ‘Today Girl’ and handled weather and other lighter assignments like many other Today Girls. Walters then climbed up the ladder and within a year was developing, writing, and editing her own interviews and reports. Her segments were well received by the executives as well as viewers, but it was only in 1974 that she was named the co-host of The Today Show. But even before this, she had been hosting the NBC affiliate show, Not for Women Only, starting in 1971.

The Boston native then joined ABC Evening News in October 1976 as a co-host of Harry Reasoner. However, the duo’s relationship was pretty difficult which was even seen on screen. They worked together for two years and moved on with their respective careers.

Barbara joined 20/20 as a co-host and reunited with Today Show host Hugh Downs. Throughout her time with ABC, Barbara served as a commentator for news specials including the coverage of 9/11 and presidential inaugurations.

Barbara Walters continued on with her career serving as the host or co-host of shows such as Today, Inside Edition, Good Morning America, The View, American Scandals, and several others. Moreover, she produced and hosted the popular The Barbara Walters Summer Special show and served as the executive producer for The Eloise McElhone Show, The View, and Iyanla.

Throughout her career as a broadcast journalist, Barbara has interviewed world-renowned individuals such as Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Vladimir Putin, Fiel Castro, Indira Gandhi, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, Jiang Zemin, and more.

Moreover, Walters has interviewed many celebrities such as Katharine Hepburn, Michael Jackson, and Drew Barrymore among others.

It is evident that the Boston native is one of the most successful television personalities in the world. She retired from her work in the mid-2010s but is still talked about for her amazing interviews. Moreover, looking at her success, it is no surprise that Barbara Walters’ net worth is estimated to be around $170 million. Well, we wish her all the best for her future.

Is Barbara Walters In A Relationship Now?

Following her retirement, Barbara Walters has stayed away from the public eye. Her last confirmed public appearance was in 2016 and has since shunned the spotlight. Moreover, there are no reports about Walters being in a relationship at the time. But we do know that she has been married four times throughout her life.

The retired broadcast journalist first tied the knot with former Navy lieutenant and business executive Robert Henry Katz in June 1955 in New York City.

However, the marriage did not last long and was annulled in 1957 after 11 months. Following this, Walters married theatrical producer and owner Lee Guber in December 1963. The pair had tried for children but Barbara suffered three miscarriages. They then adopted a daughter and named her Jacqueline Dena Guber. Sadly Barbara and Lee parted ways officially in 1976.

Barbara Walters’ third husband, Merv Adelson was the CEO of Lorimar Television and the pair got married in 1981. They divorced three years later but remarried in 1986. However, it was not meant to be for the duo as in 1992 they divorced for the second time. Besides her three marriages, Barbara has been linked to Roy Cohn, Alan Greenspan, and John Warner.

Well, we hope Barbara is now enjoying her time in peace.