Lawmakers are praising journalist Barbara Walters and remembering her as a “trailblazer” and “glass ceiling shatterer” following her death on Friday.
Walters repeatedly broke barriers throughout her career that spanned more than half a century, becoming the first woman to co-host a news program when she started as an anchor for The Today Show and the first woman to co-host a network evening news program when she joined ABC Evening News.
She interviewed every sitting president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, world leaders like Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and celebrities like Michael Jackson.
ABC News confirmed Walters death on Friday at the age of 93.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it was her “privilege” to sit down with Walters on multiple occasions and see her “masterful” work firsthand.
“Barbara Walters was a trailblazer and an icon: transforming television journalism with her intellect and integrity, courage and poise,” she said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted that many of Walters’s interviews were “unforgettable” and that she broke a glass ceiling for many women and girls. He said Walters always wanted to get the truth.
Former President Trump also praised Walters, saying in a Truth Social post that she was the “greatest of them all, by far.” Walters interviewed Trump on multiple occasions, including in 2015 while he was running for president.
“I knew her well, was interviewed by her many times, and there was nobody like the legendary Barbara Walters – And never will be!” he said.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) tweeted that Walters always drew the audience into her interviews and was “quintessential” in her job.
“Many younger women came of age watching Barbara Walters torpedo her way into the hearts and minds of Americans as a pioneering woman in the man’s world of journalism,” she said.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Walters will be remembered as a “fearless trailblazer who shattered the glass ceiling & paved the way for women in journalism.”