‘I knew I was driven to interview world leaders.’
The era of journalism I grew up in was dominated by men, but this did not scare me. The first time I felt like I truly “shattered the glass ceiling” was when I became the first female co-anchor of the Today show after climbing the ranks—I started at the show as a writer, and then reporter at large. I felt this same sense of accomplishment when I joined the ABC News family in 1976 and became the first woman in history to co-host the evening network news. I remember the exact moment when I signed my contract: I suddenly realized that my face, as the first female co-anchor, would be in millions of people’s homes every night.
If I had told my young self that I would have the opportunity to interview every American President and First Lady since Richard Nixon, be able to do the first joint interview with Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin, or my unforgettable sit-down with Cuban President Fidel Castro, I would not have believed it. Yet, I knew I was driven to interview world leaders and icons.
I am proud when young women journalists stop me and ask me for my advice. And I always tell them the same thing: go to work early, leave late when all your work is completed and do your homework.
After more than 50 years in journalism, Walters retired from her talk show, The View, in 2014.