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Barbara Walters to have heart valve surgery

Barbara Walters arrives to participate in a panel discussion on, April 9, 2008 in New York. (Evan Agostini)

May 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Barbara Walters said she will have surgery later this week to replace a faulty heart valve and take the summer off from "The View" to recuperate.The 80-year-old made the announcement on the air Monday. She said she's known about her condition for a while, and decided with her doctors that this is the best time to have the surgery.

"Later this week I'm going to have surgery to replace a faulty heart valve," she said. "My doctors and I have decided this is the best time to do the surgery."

She intends to recuperate over the summer, and said she plans to come "roaring back in September."

Walters said she had not felt any symptoms from the narrowing of the heart valve, which can worsen and restrict the flow of blood to the heart.

She is one of the best-known personalities in television news. She began on the "Today" show, was the first woman to anchor a network evening news program, then was one of the toughest competitors in the fierce game of landing sought-after interviews.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.