Barbara Jill Walters (born September 25, 1929) is an American broadcast journalist and author, who has hosted morning television shows (Today and The View), the television newsmagazine (20/20), and co-anchor of the ABC Evening News and correspondent on ABC World News (then ABC Evening News).
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 female co-anchor of network evening news, working with Harry Reasoner on the ABC Evening News and was later a correspondent for ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson.
Walters was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Louis "Lou" Walters and his wife, Dena Seletsky, both of whom were Jewish and descendants of refugees from the former Russian Empire, now Eastern Europe. Walters' paternal grandfather, Isaac Abrahams, was from what is now Łódź, Poland, and first immigrated to England, changing his name to Abraham Walters. Walters' father was born there c. 1896, and moved to the United States with his family in 1900. In 1937, her father opened the New York version of the Latin Quarter; he also was a Broadway producer (he produced the Ziegfeld Follies of 1943). He also was the Entertainment Director for the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he imported the "Folies Bergere" stage show from Paris to the resort's main showroom. Walters' brother, Burton, died in 1932 of pneumonia. Walters' elder sister, Jacqueline, was born mentally disabled and died of ovarian cancer in 1985. Barbara has another half sister, Walda Walters Anderson born to a different mother and Barbara's father, Lou Walters. Walda is now a communications executive.