After more than 50 years as a trailblazer in journalism, Barbara Walters officially announced her retirement Monday.
"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," Walters said Monday on "The View."
"It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating, and occasionally bumpy ride and I wouldn't change a thing. I am perfectly healthy. This is my decision. I have been thinking about it for a long time and this is what I want to do," said Walters.
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Walters, 83, confirmed reports of her imminent retirement late Sunday
after months of speculation, and announced she will step down from on-air television next summer. Until then, she will continue to appear on ABC News, "The View," and various specials throughout the year.
"There's only one Barbara Walters," ABC News President Ben Sherwood said in a statement. "And we look forward to making her final year on television as remarkable, path-breaking, and news-making as Barbara herself. Barbara will always have a home at ABC News and we look forward to a year befitting her brilliant career, filled with exclusive interviews, great adventures, and indelible memories."
Walters' career spans decades, starting in 1961 when she became the first woman to serve as a co-anchor on a major network morning show on NBC's "Today" show. After 15 years there, she moved to ABC in 1976 to co-anchor the evening newscast, later becoming the co-host of "20/20."
Known for asking tough questions, Walters has interviewed every major politician and public figure of the last 50 years, including Fidel Castro, Anwar Sadat, Vladimir Putin, Tom Cruise, and Angelina Jolie.
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Walters' retirement announcement drew an outpouring of support on Twitter, with fans, celebrities, and media personalities all tweeting messages to the legendary anchor.
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