39 years after she first got behind an anchor’s desk at “The Today Show,” sources have confirmed that Barbara Walters will be retiring in May 2014.
A number of specials and send-offs are in the works to celebrate the grande dame of television’s 52-year-career. Walters will also be leaving her show “The View,” along with other original host Joy Behar.
“She’s one of a kind and what she has done is remarkable,” a source told the New York Post. There will be an announcement about her retirement soon.”
When she joined ABC Evening News in 1976, Walters became the first female co-anchor of a network evening news broadcast. She hosted ABC’s primetime newsmagazine 20/20 for 20 years.
Deadline was the first to break the story on Thursday, stating: “After years of speculation, I hear Barbara Walters may be finally ready to hand up her microphone.”
Walters apparently wanted to leave on her own terms, and so it remains unclear whether or not she will continue to make sporadic appearances a la Larry King.
Rumors about Walter’s retirement have been circulating since TMZ reported a remark made to President Obama about “retiring next year,” in December 2011. Her recent hospitalization with chicken pox after a fall early this year did their share to fan the rumor flames.
Walter, 83, was born in 1929 to Dana and Louis Walters, descendants of Jewish refugees from Tsarist Russia.