Longtime journalist Barbara Walters to retire in 2014

Barbara Walters says she will retire next summer. She officially made the announcement on the talk show she created in 1997, "The View."

Walters began her career in 1961 at NBC’s “Today Show,” where she eventually became a co-host.

“No one was more surprised than I,” she says of her on-air career. “I wasn’t beautiful, like many of the women on the program before me, [and] I had trouble pronouncing my r’s. I still do!”

In 1976, Walters found a new home at ABC “Evening News,” where she became the first female anchor on an evening news program. Three years later, she became a co-host of “20/20.”

At ABC, her interviews were wide-ranging and her access to public figures, unparalleled; Walters crossed the Bay of Pigs with Fidel Castro, conducted the first joint interview with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Prime Minister Menachem Begin. She also developed a reputation for asking tough questions. In one instance, “I asked Vladimir Putin if he ever ordered anyone to be killed,” she recalls. “For the record, he said no.”

“I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on ‘The View’ and with ABC News,” she said. “I created ‘The View’ and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it.”