Barbara Walters is one of America's most enduring voices in television journalism—a former news anchor who gained her greatest fame by conducting skillful, highly personal interviews with global figures in politics and popular culture. It is said that much of the past half-century is reflected in Walters' one-on-one conversations with the likes of Fidel Castro, Michael Jackson, the Dalai Lama and others.
While still a presence on ABC's "20/20," where she has been one of the preeminent women in broadcasting since 1979, Walters has branched out by co-creating and co-hosting the popular issue debate show "The View." Her critics have accused Walters of not asking tough enough questions of some of her subjects, but her ability to elicit revealing answers has been unsurpassed.
Walters' interview in 1999 with Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern romantically linked with then-President Bill Clinton, was seen by 74 million people, a record for a news interview.
Early on, Walters wrote a magazine story, "How to Talk to Practically Anyone About Practically Anything," that she later expanded into a highly popular book that helped to accelerate her rise to prominence. It has gone through eight printings in six languages over nearly 40 years.
Born in Boston in 1929, Walters soon moved to New York, where her father became a Broadway producer. She said that being around celebrities when she was young kept her from being in awe of them. Married three times, she dated former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in the 1970s and was romantically linked to U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Virginia) in the 1990s.