USA TODAYs Susan Page to release Barbara Walters biography
Editor’s Note: The author of the forthcoming Barbara Walters biography is USA TODAY’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page, who has covered six White House administrations and 10 presidential elections.
Susan Page, the journalist and bestselling author of “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty” and “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” is writing a third biography about another powerful woman: Legendary broadcast journalist Barbara Walters.
“Barbara Walters didn’t just report the news. During her career, she was the news and a figure of historical import,” Page said in a press release announcing the book. “She knew fascinating people – presidents and kings, poets and despots, actors and sport stars – and she knew how to make them talk. She fished with Fidel Castro, dated John Warner, and grilled Monica Lewinsky. Walters was also a key figure in the transformation in what was considered news and who could be trusted to tell it. To do all that, she was focused, indefatigable, competitive, manipulative, and sometimes ruthless. There were costs, professionally and personally, but she is a consequential, complicated woman, who defied expectations and expanded the opportunities for those who followed in her footsteps.”
Barbara Walters just before her 2014 retirement. (Photo: ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY NETWORK)
Walters, 91, is a pioneering figure in broadcast journalism whose career spanned over six decades until her retirement in 2014. She was the first woman to co-host a morning news program (NBC’s “The Today Show”) and the first woman to co-host an evening news program (“ABC Evening News”). She was also a fixture on ABC’s “20/20” and created the long-running daytime talk show “The View.” Through her hundreds of blockbuster celebrity interviews, Walters herself became a celebrity and indelible pop-culture icon.
Page’s previous books have received high praise, including a ★★★½ (out of four) review from USA TODAY for “The Matriarch.” The journalist was given intimate access and conducted more than 100 interviews with Bush friends and family members, and the former first lady herself in the final months of her life, to tell the life story of one of the defining women of American political history. Earlier this year, “Madam Speaker,” for which Page conducted 10 interviews with Pelosi and interviewed more than 150 friends, family members, political allies and adversaries, received a ★★★ review from USA TODAY.
Page’s new biography, which is currently untitled, is set to be published by Simon & Schuster in 2023.
Contributing: Sara M. Moniuszko
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