Barbara Walters biographer reveals pioneering journalist’s final words

Barbara Walters’ final words have been revealed in an excerpt from her forthcoming biography.

A pioneering journalist best known for her effective interviews of well-renowned figures, Walters died on New Year’s Eve 2022 aged 93. Following her death, no announcement was made of where Walters was buried.

Two years before Walters died, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page, spent two years interviewing the pioneering journalist for an extensive biography. It will be titled The Rulebreaker: The Life and Times of Barbara Walters.

The biography is scheduled for release next spring, with a new excerpt published by Axios revealing that “Barbara was buried, as she had wished, next to [family members] at Lakeside Memorial Park in Miami”

The book also includes the first look at Walters’s gravesite, where her final words are etched in gold lettering. They read: “No regrets – I had a great life.”

With an expected release date of 23 April 2024, publisher Simon & Schuster describes the book as a “definitive biography of the most successful female broadcaster of all time... a woman whose personal demons fuelled an ambition that broke all the rules and finally gave women a permanent place on the air”.

In a career that spanned five decades, Walters became one of television’s most prominent interviewers and shattered several glass ceilings in an industry once dominated by men.

Barbara Walters (AP)
Barbara Walters (AP)

She interviewed some of the biggest names in the world, including Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein and every US president and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon.

Walters joined ABC News in 1976, becoming the first female anchor on an evening news programme. Three years later, she became a co-host of 20/20, and in 1997, she launched women’s talk show The View.

With 12 Emmy awards to her name, Walters remained an executive producer of the show and continued to do some interviews and specials for ABC News.

She won 12 Emmy awards, 11 of those while at ABC News.

Her final TV appearance was in 2014 as a co-host of The View in 2014, after which Walters decided to take a step back and give others a chance.

“She was a one-of-a-kind reporter who landed many of the most important interviews of our time, from heads of state to the biggest celebrities and sports icons,” Disney CEO Robert Iger said in his statement after her death.

“Barbara was a true legend, a pioneer not just for women in journalism but for journalism itself.”

The Rulebreaker: The Life and Times of Barbara Walters is expected to be released on 23 April 2024.