One Last Go-Round for Walters //

Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters

It looks like this will be broadcast journalist Barbara Walters’ final year on television. In 2014, the renowned news personality will be retiring after more than 50 years in the business.

Walters became America’s first woman co-anchor of an evening news broadcast in 1974 and has interviewed every U.S. president and first lady since 1981. She first worked as a writer for “Today” in 1961, went on to serve as a producer/host of the ABC’s “20/20” and eventually created the successful women-focused program “The View,” for which she will remain a producer after her retirement from on-air appearances.

Walters, now 83, will host a “20 Years of the 10 Most Fascinating People,” a retrospective of her now-famous annual list of public figures and celebrities. She will also be honored with a televised look back at her career, set tentatively to debut next May.

Walters was born to Dena Seletsky and Louis Walters (born Louis Abrahams), both of whom were Jewish. Although her parents were not religious, Walters still openly identifies with her Jewish heritage.

Dylan Just Keeps Doing It

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

On top of the many recognitions earned during his stellar career, Bob Dylan has now been honored as the first-ever musician to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. And instead of shoehorning Dylan into the Academy’s “Music,” he has been named an honorary member without specific classification.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon gave the keynote address at the ceremony, which Dylan was unable to attend. The revered singer-songwriter sent his apologies from the road, as he is currently busy out on tour.

Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman to Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice Stone. An admirer of the poet Dylan Thomas, he later adopted the writer’s first name as his surname in an effort to reinvent himself.

Dylan’s paternal grandparents came to the United States in order to escape deadly anti-Semitic rioting in Ukraine circa 1905. His maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Lybba Edelstein, were Lithuanian Jews who also arrived in America around the turn of the century.