Barbara Walters left behind messages about her 'sense of isolation' as a child — and what drove her success -

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Millions of Americans are mourning the loss of broadcasting pioneer and Emmy Award winner Barbara Walters, who died this week at the age of 93.

Walters was a longtime ABC news anchor who also hosted primetime show “20/20” and created the all-female talk show “The View” in 1997.


When Walters’ personal account of her life, “Audition: A Memoir”, came out in 2008, book critics called the “blockbuster” nonfiction work a “smart, funny, engaging book” as well as “compulsively entertaining”. widely praised for being

Journalist pioneer Barbara Walters dies at 93

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It was full of “heartfelt candor”, said critics.

It was “indispensable” and “intensely readable”, he also said.

It was also “full of emotional intensity”, wrote one critic.

Yet another wrote that it was “deeply personal” while at the same time “surprisingly larger than life.”

Knopf published the book in May 2008 – and today, as of publication time, the book is ranking at No. 1. Ranked second on Amazon’s “Journalistic Biographies” bestseller list as well as no. 4 on its “Television Artist Biographies” bestseller list.

Walters said that his sister’s condition was “never discussed” outside the family circle.

In his memoir, Walters details the many steps he took in his journalism career after growing up in Boston and attending Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

Walters also uncovers layers of his early family life.

Walters writes in her book that she had an alternately uncertain and loving relationship with her older sister, Jackie, whom she described as “mentally retarded, as the condition called”.

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Walters said that her sister, while older, looked like a younger sister.

Her intellectual impairment, Walters wrote, was “just enough to prevent her from going to regular school, from making friends, from getting a job, from marrying – just enough to prevent her from living a real life.”

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The TV personality also shared in her book that “from a very young age,” she felt that “at some point, Jackie would become my responsibility”—and that this deep understanding was “one of the main reasons I had to work so hard.” used to inspire.”

But it wasn’t just about financial responsibility, Walters wrote, when it came to how she would be responsible for her sister for the rest of her life.

“For so many years, I was embarrassed by him… embarrassed by him… guilty that I had so much and he had so little,” Walters elaborated in “Audition”.

She said that when Jackie was born – 100 years from now – little was known about “mental retardation” or “mentally handicapped”.

Walters said that because her sister’s life was so isolated – she had her own life instead.

He also said that there were few schools for those who were differently abled and few employers would handle such workers.

“Today,” Walters wrote in 2008, “Jackie could probably get a job, something simple but productive … She might even have met a nice man and married.”

However, at that time, her sister’s life, Walters wrote, was “essentially that of isolation”—except, he said, “for her relationship with me and my mother and father.”

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Walters said that his sister’s condition was “never discussed” outside the family circle.

This was because, she said, her parents felt that other people would not understand – or “shun” her or ostracize her.

Specifically, Walters said that because her sister’s life was so isolated – so was her own life.

“As a kid, I didn’t have birthday parties because Jackie didn’t. I didn’t join the Girl Scouts because Jackie couldn’t join. I rarely had friends over because she didn’t know what Make my sister’s, and I’ll listen to whispers, real or imagined.”

“At times I even hated her, for being different … for the restrictions she put on my life.”

Walters said that as she got older and went out with friends or on dates with young men, her mother asked her to take Jackie with her.

“I loved my sister. She was sweet and affectionate – and she was my sister.”

Added Walters, “There were times I hated him even for being different from him … [and] For the restrictions he put on my life.”

She also said, “I didn’t like that hate, but there’s no denying that I felt it. Maybe you’ll be horrified at my admission,” Walters added candidly.

Barbara Walters is shown during the 2014 Time 100 Gala.

“Or, perhaps you are guilty of similar feelings and will be relieved that you are not alone,” she also wrote.

Walters said that almost anyone who has had a chronically ill sibling, or a sibling who is mentally or physically disabled, “will understand what I mean.”

He noted how physically beautiful his sister was – and “you wouldn’t know” there was something different about her “until she opened her mouth to talk.”

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He revealed his sister’s stammer – and that their parents did everything they could to try to help her with “her speech impediment” in those days.

She also shared how difficult it was for her to watch her sister get bullied by other kids.

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Walters said that her sister had died of ovarian cancer in 1985—but by that time, Walters “distressed” over the relationship with her brother and over Jackie’s challenging life circumstances. Still, she knew her sister would always love her, she said.

Walters’ memoir “Audition,” originally released in hardcover and no. 1 national bestseller when it came out, it was produced in paperback as well as Kindle and audiobook editions.

By Justin

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