Barbara Walters announces retirement on 'The View'


"I have been on television continuously for over 50 years. But in the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all," she said. "It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating, and occasionally bumpy ride, and I wouldn't change a thing."

Walters added that even though she is in good health, retirement is something she has considered for a while.

"This is my decision, I've been thinking about it for a long time, and this is what I want to do," she said.

While the 83-year-old is stepping down, she isn't going too far. She will remain executive producer of ''The View."

Walters says she is looking forward to taking a break.

"I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain," she said. "I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women -- and, OK, some men, too -- who will be taking my place."

Walters was first introduced to television audiences on NBC's "Today" show in 1961, but spent the bulk of her career at ABC, where she became the first female anchor on an evening network newscast.

She nabbed the interviews everyone wanted to see, and never shied away from asking hard questions. In 1999, she conducted the first interview with Monica Lewinsky, which remains the most watched interview in TV history.

She's interviewed every American president and first lady since Richard Nixon and has sat down with numerous world leaders, including Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"There is only one Barbara Walters," said ABC News President Ben Sherwood. "ABC is looking forward to making her final year on television as remarkable, path-breaking and news-making as Barbara herself."

Entertainment journalist Jeanne Wolf asked Walters how she would sum up her career.

"I said, 'Barbara, I have it. I think you should call yourself The Great Seducer. You bring people on TV, you get them to tell their most intimate secrets,'" Wolf said. "She stopped for a minute, and laughed and said, 'You know, I don't mind that at all.'"

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