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Does Barbara Walters have Grandchildren?

Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters is a renowned journalist and television personality known for her groundbreaking interviews. However, behind the scenes, she has faced personal struggles as a mother. In an interview with her daughter, Jackie Danforth, Walters opens up about their journey through Jackie’s teenage years, including her disappearance and subsequent rehabilitation. This article delves into their story and provides insights into Barbara Walters’ experience as a mother.

A Mother’s Fear

In the summer of 1984, Barbara Walters faced every parent’s worst nightmare when her 15-year-old daughter, Jackie, went missing. Jackie had run away, seeking solace in running from her problems. Barbara Walters, fearing for her daughter’s safety, didn’t know where to turn. She didn’t want to involve the police or attract media attention. After a month of uncertainty, Jackie was found and reunited with her mother.

A Journey of Redemption

Jackie Danforth, now a grown woman, has turned her life around and is dedicated to helping troubled teenagers through her wilderness program called “New Horizons” in northern Maine. Barbara Walters openly discusses this painful episode in her life, hoping to inspire and educate other parents who may be facing similar challenges. She emphasizes that no family is immune to such difficulties and encourages parents to seek help and support.

The Adoption and Working Motherhood

Barbara Walters and her second husband, Lee Guber, decided to adopt a baby girl after struggling with miscarriages. They named her Jacqueline, after Barbara’s sister. In those days, adoption was often kept secret, and Barbara continued working without taking maternity leave. As a prominent television personality, she faced criticism and scrutiny for her pregnancy, but she remained focused on her career.

A Sense of Not Belonging

Jackie Danforth grew up feeling like she didn’t fit into her mother’s world. Despite having access to the best seats in Broadway theaters and witnessing historic interviews, Jackie felt isolated and different from her peers. She struggled with her height, feeling out of place among smaller classmates. This sense of not belonging contributed to her rebellious behavior and eventual descent into drug use.

A Mother’s Blindness

Barbara Walters admits that she was unaware of her daughter’s troubles during her teenage years. As an investigative journalist, she was skilled at asking probing questions, but she didn’t apply the same approach to her own child. Barbara took Jackie to doctors, suspecting physical ailments rather than drug use. She acknowledges her own innocence and the difficulty of recognizing the signs of her daughter’s struggles.

A Desperate Decision

When Jackie ran away, Barbara Walters faced a difficult decision. She sought advice from a trusted source and decided not to involve the police immediately. Instead, she waited for Jackie to reach out. After a month, Jackie made contact, and Barbara knew where she was. It was a relief, but also a heartbreaking moment for a mother who had to send her child away for rehabilitation.

A New Direction

Jackie spent three years in a rehabilitation program in the mountains, which she credits with saving her life. She emerged from the program with a new perspective and a determination to live her life on her own terms. She changed her last name to Guber and sought anonymity in Oregon, away from the shadow of her mother’s fame. Barbara Walters understood her daughter’s need for independence and supported her decision.

A Strong Bond

Despite the challenges they faced, Barbara Walters and Jackie Danforth have maintained a strong bond. Barbara emphasizes the love they have for each other and dismisses any notion of estrangement. Their story serves as a reminder that even in the face of difficulties, a mother’s love can endure.


Barbara Walters’ journey as a mother has been filled with challenges and triumphs. Through her daughter’s struggles, she has learned valuable lessons and now shares her experiences to help other parents facing similar situations. Despite the hardships, the bond between Barbara Walters and Jackie Danforth remains unbreakable.

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