Remebering the late greats of 2022

Anusha Srivastava, Nicholas Bisulca, & Ava Trandel, Managing Editor of Production, Editor-in-Chief, & Managing Editor of Features

Barbara Walter being surprised by various women in the industry for her appearance on The View in 2014 (Photo by Courtesy of @theviewabc Instagram)
Péle is memorialized in a tribute on Instagram. (Photo by Courtesy of @pele on Instagram)
Vivienne Westwood is memorialized in a tribute on Instagram. (Photo by Courtesy of @viviennewestwood Instagram)

Barbara Walters

   Barbara Walters was a pioneer for female journalists. On December 30, 2022, Walters passed away surrounded by loved ones at the age of 93. 

   Growing up, Walters was surrounded by celebrities in her father’s club theatrical impresario. This early introduction to fame allowed her to build strong social and communication skills while learning to be unphased when meeting famous people, which would later help when conducting interviews. Walters attended Sarah Lawernece College – a liberal art college based in Bronxville, NY – graduated in 1953 and became an assistant publicity-direct for New York City’s NBC soon after. 

   In the early 1960s, she began her broadcasting career at NBC’s Today Show as a reporter, writer, and panelest. When initially hired, Walters was considered just a “pretty face” on air, but quickly the network and her colleagues saw her immense potential through her intelligent presence and in-depth journalism reporting talent. By 1974, she became a co-host of the program. Then, in 1975, she won an Emmy for her work, which in 1976 got her a five year contract for ABC News as the first female anchor, and most paid anchor. 

   During her time at ABC, Walters hosted several specials, giving leeway for interviewing important and famous figures like Nixon, and all the presidents succeeding him. Walters was a unique interviewer who asked very direct questions and was persistent on usually evasive figures. 

   Eventually in 2004, Walters opened her own daytime talk show, The View,  which highlighted a diverse panel of women, quickly gaining popularity. She retired after hosting the show for 10 years and over 50 years of anchoring. Over Babara Walters’ career, she won 8 Emmys, was added to the Walk of Fame, and won 10 other reputable awards among 60+ nominations she received during her lifetime.   

   Walters shaped the world’s perception on how women are regarded when anchoring, hosting, and writing, while promoting diversity. Barbara Walters was a trailblazer that paved the way for other women in the field of entertainment and broadcasting journalism.


Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Péle)

   Brazilian soccer player Pelé passed away on the 29th of December 2022 at 82 years old. Labeled as “the greatest” by FIFA, Pelé has had an enormous impact on the sport.

   Born on October 23rd, 1940, Edson Arantes do Nascimento received his first soccer ball when he was just six years old, around the same time he was given the nickname Pelé. Under the mentorship of former World Cup player Valdemar de Brito, Pelé quickly developed the skills of an elite soccer player, and, at 17, he was recruited by the Brazil national soccer team. 

   Throughout his career, Pelé made an outstanding 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, a Guinness world record. He won his first world cup just 2 years after joining the Brazilian National team and is currently the only player to have won three world cup titles (1958, 1962, 1970). Additionally, he is also recognized as the youngest player ever to win a world cup. According to Tostão, his strike partner at the 1970 World Cup: “Pelé was the greatest – he was simply flawless. And off the pitch, he is always smiling and upbeat. You never see him bad-tempered. He loves being Pelé.”

   Having grown up poor, Pelé developed an affinity for charity work. Throughout his career, he supported organizations such as 46664, ABC Trust, FC Harlem, The Littlest Lamb, and many more. 

   Pelé is remembered for a life beyond the field, inspiring youth as an iconic athlete, and becoming perhaps the most well-known person on Earth. He was included in Time’s list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999 and even won the World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics in 2000. 

   Today, we celebrate Pelé’s life as both a humanitarian, committed to spreading love throughout the world, and a world-renowned soccer star, who will continue to inspire all of us for generations.


Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood

   Dame Vivienne Westwood, the pioneer fashion designer known as the “godmother of punk,” died December 29, 2022 at the age of 81. The fashion industry has been deeply devastated by the news, both by the loss of a talented designer and highly influential person. 

   For over 50 years, the self-taught designer has been revolutionizing the fashion industry and using her platform as an activist, often bringing awareness to global issues and politics through her designs. Messages protesting war and climate change are often seen both on the Vivienne Westwood runway and in stores. One of the defining characteristics of the brand is that the radical designs aren’t reserved for the inaccessible runway: they’re meant to be worn on the street by anyone. She is credited with changing the nature of streetwear in the 70s, bringing punk to a scene that at the time was dominated by flower power. Westwood, in all aspects of her life and career, defied convention and conformity, and made fashion political when it never had been before. 

   Westwood has supported many human rights, anti-war, and climate change organizations over her thirty-four plus years as a designer, including the Humane Society International, War Child and Liberty, and Climate Revolution: a campaign she spearheaded. 

   Immediately following her death, Vivienne Westwood closed all of its store locations and website in her honor. The brand recently announced the establishment of  The Vivienne Foundation, created to preserve her legacy and “create a better society,” by means of continued activism and making an active effort to stop climate change, a cause Westwood was passionate about.