She was the daughter of Lew Walters, who owned the famed nightclub "The Latin Quarter" in New York, and who was among other things a broadway producer (He produced the Siegfeld Follies of 1943), and his wife Dena.
1Barbara Walters' biographies often give her date of birth as September 25, 1931. That this is false can be demonstrated by making reference to the 1930 Federal Census for the Enumeration District 41-184, where her family is shown on page 198, with father Louis Walters aged 34, wife Dena Walters, aged 33, Jacqueline, daughter, aged 3 years and 11 months, and lastly Barbara, aged 6 months. This was recorded on April 21/22, 1930, so Barbara would have been born around October 1929. This is compatible with her asserted date of September 25, 1931 minus 2 years.
Barbara Walters was widely ridiculed in 1981, when during an interview with actress Katharine Hepburn, Walters posed the infamous question, "If you were a tree, what kind would you be?" to the stun of audiences everywhere. Walters, who has been trying to live down the moment ever since, can now rest easy knowing that if Katharine Hepburn were a tree, she would be an oak tree.