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Barbara Walters visits Bay Path College, reflects

Barbara Walters with Bay Path College student Delmarina Lopez at the Women’s Leadership Conference.

Steven Smith

Barbara Walters with Bay Path College student Delmarina Lopez at the Women’s Leadership Conference.

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Longtime TV personality Barbara Walters was in our midst the other day, speaking at the Bay Path College Women’s Leadership Conference in Springfield. (Bay Path is a women’s college in Longmeadow.) And since the 84-year-old broadcaster is about to retire — May 16 is her final day on “The View” — we wanted to chat with her briefly about her pioneering career and what might be next. “I don’t think of myself as a pioneer,” she said, though she did joke about her “memorable interview with Abraham Lincoln.” “The only thing I do feel is that the road for women in news was a rocky one when I started, and if I was able to push a few barriers out of the way, I consider that my legacy.” Walters says she has no plans for the future, but is looking forward to living without a calender or an alarm clock, at least for a while. We couldn’t resist asking he about her long-ago romance with then-Senator Ed Brooke, whom she described in her 2008 memoir as “the most attractive, sexiest, funniest, charming and impossible man.” “I felt it was important to include because I was writing about people who made a big impact on my life, and at the time he had,” Walters told us. “I wrote to him and told him it was going to be in the book, and if he objected I wouldn’t have done it.”

Mark Shanahan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MarkAShanahan. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MeredithGoldste.
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