Apr 7, 2014
Trailblazing Journalist Barbara Walters Takes a turn in the Hot Seat to Discuss Her Impending Retirement, What's Ahead in the Future, Coping with Criticism and Her most Flirtatious Interview in the April/May Issue of AARP The Magazine

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 7, 2014) — The first female morning show cohost, creator of “The View,” master interviewer—Barbara Walters has a list of accomplishments and accolades a mile long.  As the trailblazing journalist prepares for her final months in front of the camera, she takes a turn as the interviewee in the latest issue of AARP The Magazine. The 84-year-old speaks candidly about paving the way for other women and what’s next on her agenda – including sleeping in and perhaps a date with the newly single Clint Eastwood! 

The following are excerpts from the April/May issue of the AARP The Magazine feature story “What I Know Now,” featuring Barbara Walters, available in homes today and online NOW at www.aarp.org/magazine.

On why she’s retiring:

“This was the right time. The kinds of interviews I did all these years, nobody wants them anymore. You have three minutes of a morning show. That’s different from before.”

“I don’t want to do anything forever.”

Her answer to “what’s next?”:

“Maybe go to a movie or a museum, maybe sleep until 9, maybe see a friend. I look forward to not having every day planned, or having to be at a certain place at a certain time.” 

On criticism:

“When I became the first woman co-anchor of a network news program [ABC Evening News in 1976], I was vilified. That did hurt me. I thought my career was over. No one wanted a woman, and they certainly didn’t seem to want me, and I had a cohost [Harry Reasoner] who really didn’t want me. What saved me was that Roone Arledge, who was president of ABC News, felt I had value.”

On her most important interviews:

“The interview [in 1977] with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. Israel and Egypt were fierce enemies, and the future of the Middle East was resting on their shoulders. I think the fact that I was able to get them together was remarkable, and unique.”

On Clint Eastwood, her most flirtatious interview:

“I heard recently that he’s [Clint Eastwood] getting divorced, and I thought I should write him a letter: “Dear Clint, I’m still here.” I have to tell you he hasn’t yet called me up to say, “Dear Barbara, how are you?”

On the secrets of her success:

“I used to say it was because I didn’t have to go to the bathroom often and could outsit anybody, male or female—but I was being funny. I think the secret of my success is that I persevered. I didn’t give up. I didn’t say, “This is a lousy job and I’m unhappy and I’m going to quit.” I went through the tough times, and they were tough. And I was fortunate that I came out the other end.” 

On being a role model:

“When someone comes up to me and says, “You paved the way, and thank you,” I am very proud. A lot of women think today, “What’s so tough? She had a partner that didn’t like her. I have partners that don’t like me. She was failing. I failed.” But the fact that I persevered and succeeded in what was so much a man’s world—the world of television news—gives me great pride. That’s my legacy.”

For the complete interview, check out http://www.aarp.org/magazine/.

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About AARP The Magazine

With more than 35.2 million readers, AARP The Magazine is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through health and fitness features, financial guidance, consumer interest information and tips, celebrity interviews, and book and movie reviews. AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is published bimonthly in print and continually online. Learn more at www.aarpmagazine.org.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more atwww.aarp.org.

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