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Barbara Walters on Hard Work, Luck, and Being Thought of as an Iconic Woman

Barbara WaltersBarbara Walters‘ career as a trailblazer in TV news–and for women journalists–is being celebrated this week ahead of her retirement from ABC News. But Walters doesn’t think about preeminence. In fact, she says a lot of her success is based on luck.

“You don’t think, ‘I’m preeminent‘… I’m lucky I’m still working. I’m lucky that I enjoy my work,” Walters tells TVNewser. “The best part is the people I work with, especially seeing all of the women.”

Walters, who will be celebrated tonight at an event at the Four Seasons, gave one of those women a special shout-out during the dedication of the Barbara Walters Building on Monday. “I’m so proud of you,” she told “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer, the only woman anchor of an evening newscast. (Walters was the first woman co-anchor the evening news in the 1970s). “I’m one of those smiling women who come up to you,” Sawyer responded.

Walters’ 50-year career included hundreds of long days, decades of global travel, and instances where she dropped everything to score the big interview. And they didn’t come without sacrifice.

“You give up a little in your personal life when you travel and move around as much as I did,” Walters told us.

There’s still time to vote in our poll. Results will be revealed Friday.

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