The “SNL” writer wasn’t her only critic. Many objected to her welcoming and sometimes brooding demeanor towards Ms. Walters’ guests and her apparent determination to make her interviewees cry. Walters, who served as Allied commander in the Gulf War in 1991, made her cry when she asked General H. Norman about his father.
But ratings have always been on her side.
Nightclubs and cheap rentals
Walters said she inherited both her ambition and insecurities from her father, Lou Walters. Lou Walters was a Boston booking agent and a vaudeville impresario who changed the fortunes of her family by founding Latin Quarter nightclubs in Boston, New York and Miami. From Florida mansions and penthouse apartments on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to shabby rental properties in Miami.
“I was old enough to recognize how other families lived, but they weren’t like me,” she wrote.
Barbara Walters was born on September 25, 1929 in Boston to Mr. Walters and Dena (Seretsky) Walters. She is “impeccably dressed” and she maintains an English accent – “very charming then and now”. Her mother, she wrote, was “very impressive” when she met her future husband, who worked at a men’s neckwear store. The couple, both the children of Jewish immigrants fleeing anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, remained married for nearly 60 years despite a “troublesome relationship,” Walters wrote.
Barbara attended private schools in New York and public schools in Miami. There was a trip to Europe and a Broadway opening. There was hobnobbing with celebrities. Some tax collectors seized the family’s car, furniture, and even the dining room chandelier. Her childhood, she said, was shaped by her complicated relationship with her mentally ill older sister Jacqueline. She died in 1985.
When Walters graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in English in 1951, her father went bankrupt again and she had to find work to support her parents and sister. “I wanted to be normal,” she once told Newsweek. “I wanted to get married, have kids, and be one of the popular girls.”