Sept. 21, 2009 -- Barbara Walters, iconic news correspondent and creator and Co-Host of ABC's "The View," is this year's recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards at New York City's Lincoln Center.
"NATAS (The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) is delighted to honor this very special woman," said Frank Radice, President of the Academy, in a statement. "Many years ago I worked as a field producer with Barbara at ABC News and I never saw anyone work as hard. She was, and continues to be, an inspiration."
Walters first received national attention during her 15 years on NBC's Today Show. In 1976 she joined ABC News, becoming the first woman to co-host an evening network news broadcast, from 1976 to 1978. For 25 years she served as co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News' 20/20, and has hosted numerous primetime specials, as well as the top-rated Barbara Walters Specials.
She has interviewed every American President and First Lady since Richard Nixon, as well as world figures such as Margaret Thatcher, Premier Jiang Zemin of China, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Her joint interview with Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1977 made world headlines. Her interviews have also included the greats of the entertainment world, including Michael Jackson, Bing Crosby, Lawrence Olivier, John Wayne, Bette Davis, Aubrey Hepburn, George Clooney, Harrison Ford and many others.
"Barbara shows that same respect to those with whom she works," said ABC News President David Westin, in remarks honoring Walters. "Barbara brings out the best in all of us, and that is why we are so fiercely loyal to her."
Among her many honors are the President's Award of the Overseas Press Club, induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Women's Media Foundation, numerous News & Documentary Emmy Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award for The View, and five honorary degrees.
"She always probes, but she never condescends. And they sense it. And that's why so many people have agreed to a Barbara Walters interview through the years when they will talk to no one else," said Westin. "It's why they continue to do so today.
Barbara Walters: Barbara Walters: Journalism Icon
The Emmy for Lifetime Achievement puts her in esteemed company.
Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Emmy for News & Documentary include Roone Arledge of ABC, Don Hewitt and the correspondents of "60 Minutes," Tom Brokaw, Bill Moyers, Ted Koppel, Ken Burns, Tim Russert and Bob Schieffer.
"Barbara is one of a kind," said Bill Small, Chairman of the News and Documentary Emmy® Awards, "a prime example of what journalists can achieve in television news. She remains one of the medium's great interviewers and also an inspiration to women who, as a result of Barbara's pioneering role, now work in every phase of broadcast journalism. When Barbara began her career few women could expect to get ahead in news, but she did, with skill, intelligence and perseverance."