After a 52-year career in broadcast journalism, Barbara Walters may be nearing retirement at the age of 83.
Deadline reports that sources close to Walters claim she is planning on retiring in May 2014. She reportedly plans to begin her retirement with great fanfare, including a retrospective on her long career in broadcast journalism.
There is no word yet on whether Walters would retire completely, or if she will still appear on camera for special occasions and interviews. It makes sense that Walters would make a plan to bow out relatively soon.
The Huffington Post reports that over the past three years, Walters has undergone open heart surgery, suffered from a concussion and contracted a difficult case of the chicken pox.
In 2011, TMZ reported that Walters would be stepping down sometime in 2012, though as a cursory glance at “The View” would show, that report was false. The rumor stated that Walters told President Barack Obama she needed one more interview before her impending retirement. ABC quickly refuted the rumor.
"Barbara has joked that she is retiring every year since the Clinton administration,” Jeff Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News, told TMZ. “Anyone who just did a day trip to Syria, a 90-minute prime time special and an interview with the president and first lady hardly sounds like someone retiring from anything."
Throughout her five decades on the air, Walters has been one of the most recognizable broadcast journalists in the world. She began her career on NBC’s “The Today Show” in 1961, initially covering lighthearted news before working her way into a larger reporting role. When host Frank McGee died in 1974, Walters became the first ever female co-host of a major American television show.
Outside of Walters’ career with “The Today Show,” she has also worked on the “ABC Evening News,” “20/20” and “The View.” Throughout her time as a broadcast journalist, Walters has interviewed an enormous catalogue of world leaders and public figures from presidents to Michael Jackson, Laurence Olivier, and more.