Barbara Walters was a television icon with a journalistic career spanning over six decades. She started out as a writer and segment producer on the TODAY Show.
Even more famously, she made history as the first woman co-anchor on a network evening news program. You probably also know her from her work on 20/20 and The View.
In addition to her work, Walters enjoyed an active romantic life. While she was single in her later years, she tied the knot no less than four times—with only three men.
She adopted her only child, Jacqueline, while married to her second husband, Lee Guber. Here’s everything we know about Barbara Walters’ former spouses.
Barbara Walters’s Marriage to Her First Spouse, Robert Henry Katz, Lasted Two Years
A former Navy lieutenant and business executive, Robert Henry Katz was Walters’ first husband. The couple married on June 20, 1955, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Sadly, the marriage didn’t last long; it was annulled in 1957. Very little is known about Katz. His primary claim to fame is his time as Barbara Walters’s husband.
Walters herself was close-lipped about her first marriage. A 1974 article in the Beaver County Times reported that Walters was “adamant about not discussing” her first marriage. As a result, we haven’t been able to determine how they met or why their marriage ended.
Walters And Her Second Husband, Lee Guber, Adopted Daughter Jacqueline
Walters found love again with Lee Guber, a theatrical producer and theater owner. Guber produced many famous shows, including The King and I and Fiddler on the Roof.
According to the New York Times, they met on a blind date in 1961. Walters and Guber married on December 8, 1963. Because of their busy schedules, however, they continued to live separately for six months.
Both wanted children, so the couple decided to start a family. However, they faced years of infertility struggles. Walters experienced three miscarriages in five years. Finally, they decided to grow their family through adoption.
In 1968, the couple’s dreams of a child were fulfilled. Walters and her spouse adopted their daughter, Jacqueline Dena Guber, who was named after Walters’ beloved sister.
Unfortunately, parenthood wasn’t enough to keep the two together. Walters and Guber ultimately divorced in 1976. Even after their separation, however, Walters described Guber as “a special, nice man” to the Beaver County Times. They seem to have parted amicably.
She Married Merv Adelson Twice
Barbara Walters’s final spouse was Merv Adelson. She met the CEO of Lorimar Television on another blind date, and it must have gone very well. They married in 1981, just as she began work on 20/20.
The wedding took place at producer Leonard Goldberg’s home. However, they divorced for the first time only a few years later, in 1984.
The pair reunited and married again in 1986, but it just wasn’t meant to be. They divorced permanently in 1992. Travel may have been one factor that complicated their relationship. The two professionals split their time between New York and Los Angeles, juggling busy careers on both coasts.
Despite their ultimate separation, Walters had nothing but positive words for Adelson. She described him as a “kind and gentle man with a great sense of humor” to the New York Times.
They reportedly stayed friends after their divorces. Although she wasn’t always lucky in love, Walters clearly knew how to end a relationship graciously.
Barbara Walters’ Take On Marriage
Walters remained single following her second split with Adelson and stayed that way until her death in December 2022 at the age of 93.
In her golden years, we’re sure she enjoyed a quieter life, hopefully with her beloved daughter by her side. In a 2014 interview with Oprah, Walters revealed that Jacqueline promised to care for her when the time came.
Although none of her marriages lasted, her deep love for her child endured. In fact, Walters told Piers Morgan that her greatest regret was “not having more children.”
Looking back on her life, Walters told ABC News that she often prioritized her career over her spouses. “I don’t think I was very good at marriage,” she said in 2014. “It may be that my career was just too important. It may have been that I was a difficult person to be married to, and I just seem to be better alone.”
That doesn’t mean you should feel sorry for her; “I’m not lonely, I’m alone,” she insisted. With a celebrated career and a loving daughter, she had plenty to be proud of.