When it came to Barbara Walters’ interviews, sometimes it was hard to tell who was more famous: the interviewee or Walters herself. Maybe it was her four marriages. Maybe it was those piercing eyes. Or maybe just how easily she could bring her subjects to tears. Walters was a chameleon who could somehow manage to be compassionate, predatory, and heartlessly indifferent—all within a single interview. So, who was the real Barbara Walters? Read these facts and decide for yourself.

1. There Was Tragedy Around Her

Barbara Walters was born in Boston on September 25, 1929, the third child of Lou and Dena Walters. The first child, however, hadn’t made it past 14 months. It was pneumonia that got him. Walters’ second sibling was Jacqueline, who had mental disabilities that she acquired at birth. Likely, Walters’ parents were nervous to have their third child.

As it turned out, baby Barbara was a happy and healthy child.

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