Barbara Walters attended Sarah Lawrence College, then began her television career as an assistant to the publicity director of RCA-TV.
Walters was chosen to participate in a producer's training program, and later worked for WPIX as a producer of women's programming. She eventually moved to CBS, and then jumped to NBC.
In 1961, Walters became a writer for NBC's 'Today Show', was a regular panel member by 1963, and co-hosted the show from 1974 to 1976.
She joined ABC in 1976 as co-anchor of the network evening news program, the first woman to achieve that position. Also in 1976, Walters began hosting television specials, in which she interviewed world leaders and other celebrities.
Three years later, she became co-host of the ABC news magazine '20/20'. Walters has been awarded a number of Emmys, and was honoured by a career retrospective at the Museum of Broadcasting in 1988.
Walters is known for 'personality journalism' and her 'scoop' interviews, such as the Monica Lewinsky interview that won the highest ratings of any journalist interview.
Her interviews with world leaders from all walks of life are a chronicle of the latter part of the 20th century. They include Russia's Boris Yeltsin, China's Jiang Zemin, Cuba's Fidel Castro and Indira Gandhi of India.
Walters has been married three times. Her former husbands include Robert Henry Katz, a business executive and former Navy lieutenant (1955-1958); Lee Guber, theatrical producer and theater owner (1963-1976) - one daughter, Jacqueline Dena Guber (born 1968); and Merv Adelson, the CEO of Lorimar Television (1986-1992).