Quinnipiac University Presents Lifetime Achievement Award To Barbara Walters

Jun 10, 2014, 19:00 ET from Quinnipiac University

HAMDEN, Conn., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ABC News Correspondent Barbara Walters has done scores of interviews in her 50-year career as a broadcast journalist. Three interviews – with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, actress Katharine Hepburn and actor Christopher Reeve – had a lasting impact on her.

From Thatcher, Walters learned about looking forward. Hepburn, who compared herself to an oak tree, stressed to Walters the importance of remaining strong, while Reeve showed tremendous courage after being paralyzed.

"Whatever hand you're dealt, I hope you find that the game is worthwhile and that you feel like a great oak with branches that go right through the walls," said Walters, co-executive producer of "The View," in accepting the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award at Quinnipiac University's 21st annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award Luncheon Tuesday at the Metropolitan Club in New York. "Today, I feel like a great oak, standing here with people whom I respect and admire. I thank you for this honor. I will never retire as long as there can be days like this."

Since 1994, Quinnipiac has presented the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award to honor those who have shown courage and forthrightness in preserving the rights set forth in the First Amendment. The award bears the name of the former CBS News president and champion of freedom of speech. Walters is the second person to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was first awarded to Floyd Abrams in 2008.

"I always tell every woman in the business now that they probably ought to be giving 10 percent of their salary to Barbara," said Charles Gibson, former "ABC World News" anchor. "She is really the person who blazed the trail."

A master interviewer who paved the way for women in television, Walters has received 11 Emmy Awards.

"Barbara crashed the glass ceiling and, for so many of us female journalists, paved the way for us to follow in her footsteps," said Norah O'Donnell, co-anchor of "CBS This Morning."

"There isn't a woman in television who wasn't inspired by Barbara Walters," said Gayle King, co-anchor of "CBS This Morning."

Among the others who attended the luncheon were: Bill Hemmer, Fox News Channel anchor;  David Muir, "ABC World News" weekend anchor; Bill O'Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor"; Bill Ritter, anchor of WABC-TV and correspondent for ABC News' "20/20;" Troy Roberts, CBS "48 Hours" correspondent; Christine Romans, anchor of CNN's "Early Start," chief business correspondent and host of "Your Money"; and Elizabeth Vargas, ABC News "20/20" anchor.

SOURCE Quinnipiac University