TV’s most famous female journalist is retiring this week, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to point out some milestones. Most of what you’re about to read is true.
Sept. 25, 1929: Born in Boston. Asks delivery-room nurse what kind of tree she’d like to be.
1961: Joins NBC’s “The Today Show” as a researcher. It takes 13 years of being underappreciated before she’s named co-anchor.
February 1972: The only female TV reporter to accompany President Richard Nixon on his historic trip to China. Revels in having the ladies’ room all to herself.
April 20, 1976: Jumps to ABC News to co-anchor evening news with Harry Reasoner. In exchange, NBC gets Herschel Walker.
April 24, 1976: During the freshman season of “Saturday Night Live,” Gilda Radner introduces us to “Baba Wawa,” who, strangely enough, never ends up on Walters’ Most Fascinating List.
Dec. 14, 1976: Lands Barbra Streisand for the first “Barbara Walters Special.” Barbara Eden apparently not available.
June 9, 1977: One-on-one interview with Fidel Castro airs. She somehow manages to get through the wide-ranging talk without smoking a cigar.
Nov. 20, 1977: Arranges joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, which ends with the three of them solving the Middle East crisis by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.
March 29, 1979: Dances with George Burns without either of them breaking a hip.
Jan. 27, 1989: Talks with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi outside his tent in Tripoli. Passes on invitation to enjoy s’mores around campfire.
Aug. 11, 1997: Launches “The View,” a revolutionary talk show featuring an all-female panel. Waits patiently for Debbie Matenopoulos to become a household name.
March 3, 1999: Her interview with White House intern Monica Lewinsky is watched by 75 million Americans, making it the most-watched news program in TV history. A close second: Matt Lauer’s grilling of Scott Baio.
May 13, 2013: Announces her retirement from the news department so she’ll have more time to prepare for her role as Wonder Woman in the upcoming “Justice League of America” movie.
May 16, 2014: Prepares for her last time hosting “The View.” Invests heavily in Kimberly-Clark, maker of Kleenex.