Barbara Walters was a legendary journalist who made a lasting impact on the world of broadcasting. She was the first female co-anchor of a major news program, a talk show host, and a television producer.
With a career spanning over six decades, Walters became one of the most recognizable faces on television. Her contributions to the field of journalism, coupled with her business ventures, helped her amass a considerable net worth during her lifetime.
At the time of her death, Barbara Walters’ net worth was $170 million. In this article, we will delve into Barbara Walters’ life and career and explore the sources of her net worth.
Table of Contents
Early Life and Career
Born on September 25, 1929, in Boston, Massachusetts, Barbara Walters grew up in a show business family. Her father, Lou Walters, owned nightclubs, including the Latin Quarter in New York City.
Walters’ passion for journalism developed at a young age, and she attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she graduated with a degree in English.
After college, she began her career in journalism as a writer and researcher at NBC in New York City.
Walters quickly transitioned to on-camera work, starting as a co-host of NBC’s “Today Show” in 1961. She later became the first female co-anchor of a major news program when she joined “NBC Evening News” in 1976.
However, her tenure at NBC was not without its challenges. Walters faced sexism and discrimination from her male colleagues, who often dismissed her contributions to the show.
ABC News and Career Highlights
Walters’ move to ABC News in 1976 was a significant turning point in her career. She became a co-anchor of “ABC Evening News” and made a name for herself as a skilled broadcast journalist.
During her time at ABC, she also created “The Barbara Walters Specials,” a series of interviews with prominent figures in politics, entertainment, and business.
Walters’ interviews with world leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Fidel Castro earned her critical acclaim and cemented her status as one of the most respected journalists in the industry.
In addition to her work on “The Barbara Walters Specials,” she hosted “20/20,” a news magazine show, and later became a co-host of “The View,” a daytime talk show.
Throughout her career, Walters received numerous accolades for her contributions to journalism. She won multiple Emmy Awards and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2009.
Personal Life and Business Ventures
Walters’ personal life was also the subject of public interest. She was married three times, first to Robert Henry Katz, then to Broadway producer Lee Guber and later to businessman Merv Adelson.
She had one daughter, Jacqueline Dena Guber, from her marriage to Guber. Walters’ relationship with her daughter was often strained, and the two had a public falling out in the 1990s.
In addition to her work in journalism, Walters was involved in several business ventures throughout her career.
She was a partner in the advertising agency, Guber-Peters, and produced several television shows, including “The View.”
Regrets and Health Issues
Despite her successes, Walters’ life was not without its challenges. In her memoir, “Audition,” she discussed her regrets, including missed opportunities in her personal life and the strained relationship with her daughter.
Walters also faced health issues in her later years, including a battle with breast cancer and a diagnosis of dementia.
Barbara Walters’ Net Worth
At the time of her death, Barbara Walters’ net worth was $170 million. Barbara Walters’ career earnings were significant, thanks to her contributions to the broadcasting industry.
Her salary at NBC’s “Today” show was reported to be $700,000 per year, which, adjusted for inflation, amounts to over $6.7 million today.
Walters’ move to ABC News was a significant turning point in her career, and the network offered her a base salary of $1 million per year for her position as co-anchor of “ABC Evening News.”
This was more than any other on-air anchor at the time, and adjusting for inflation, it would be equivalent to $5.23 million today.
Walters later transitioned to “20/20,” another primetime program on the ABC network, where she reportedly earned approximately $12 million per year from her appearances on the “Evening News” and “20/20” at the time of her retirement.
Her interviews with world leaders like Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Libyan leader Moammar Qadaffi, and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein cemented her status as one of the most respected journalists in the industry.
As a co-creator of the long-running daytime talk show “The View,” Walters maintained a 50% stake in the program, and upon her exit in 2014, she sold her stake for 10s of millions.
This, in turn, helped increase her net worth from $140 million to $170 million. Upon retirement, she donated $15 million to Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Barbara Walters suffer from dementia?
Yes, Barbara Walters suffered from dementia in her later years and was unable to recognize her old friends.
What illness did Barbara Walters have?
Barbara Walters suffered from dementia, hearing loss, and heart disease before her death.
What happened to Barbara Walters?
Barbara Walters passed away on December 30, 2022, at the age of 93 in her home in New York, surrounded by friends and family.
What is Walters net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Barbara Walters’ net worth was around $170 million at the time of her death.
Is Barbara Walters estranged from her daughter?
Despite previous reports of a strained relationship, Barbara Walters and her daughter Jacqueline Dena Guber were not estranged.
Is Barbara Walters related to Paul McCartney?
Yes, Paul McCartney’s wife, Nancy, is Barbara Walters’ second cousin.
Why did Barbara Walters retire?
Barbara Walters retired due to declining health, including her battle with dementia.
Barbara Walters’ impact on the world of broadcasting and journalism cannot be overstated. Her contributions paved the way for female journalists and talk show hosts, including Oprah Winfrey.
Understanding the financial success of prominent figures in media is crucial. Public statements and press releases can provide valuable insights into their sources of income and investments.
In Walters’ case, her earnings were primarily from her salary at ABC News, which was a remarkable achievement for a female journalist in the industry. Her business ventures and investments in real estate also contributed to her net worth.
Walters’ life and career were not without challenges, and she faced criticism and discrimination in a male-dominated industry.
Her memoir, “Audition,” provided a candid look into her personal and professional life and her regrets. Despite her struggles, Walters continued to push boundaries and make history throughout her career.