Barbara Walters once sought help from Green Beret to find her runaway daughter, reveals biography

Barbara Walters once sought help from Green Beret to find her runaway daughter, reveals biography
Barbara Walters once sent Green Beret to bring back her party-going daughter (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Famous newswoman Barbara Walters once had to seek the help of a former Green Beret after her teenage daughter Jacqueline ran away in high school.

In the upcoming biography of the legendary journalist, 'The Rulebreaker: The Life and Times of Barbara Walters,’ the author Susan Page chronicled the layered relationship the ‘Today’ alum shared with her adopted daughter Jacqueline, who is better known as Jackie.

Barbara Walters in 'The View' (ABC)
Barbara Walters in 'The View' (ABC)

The biography explores the relationship between Barbara Walters and Jackie

In the biography, Page noted that many of Jackie’s problems stemmed from the fact that she was adopted by the famous journalist when she was just a newborn.

The author notes in the book, “Barbara concluded that being adopted was an important factor behind her daughter’s travails,"  according to the Page Six.

However, the American broadcaster, who died in 2022, aged 93, never regretted her decision. Page notes, “Still, Barbara never expressed regret about adopting Jackie, whatever their turmoil.”

The biographer reveals in the book that following several miscarriages during Walters' marriage to Lee Guber, the couple considered adoption as a means to become parents.

Their friend and attorney Roy Cohn, helped the former couple as he found a baby girl for them to adopt in 1968.

However, Walters and Guber split when Jackie was just three years old. As the baby grew up, Walters enrolled her in the elite private school on the Upper East Side, Dalton.

However, echoing her famous mother's sentiments, Page wrote that Jackie had no interest in the glamorous, fashionable lifestyle.

Page observed that Walters "would be puzzled and disappointed that Jackie didn't share her enthusiasm for the city, society, fashion, or the latest news and newsmakers."

Furthermore, the biographer noted that Jackie was experiencing a challenging period at Dalton, where she was described as an "indifferent student" and had few friends.

Moreover, her height spurt also created troubles for the youngster, as Page writes, “She towered over the other kids in her class, pushing six feet tall when she was twelve years old, making her feel even more like a misfit.”

“She would host sleepovers at her apartment but rarely be invited back to other girls’ homes,” continued the author in the upcoming book.

As Page details Jackie’s life, she writes the mother and daughter “had been at odds for years, their relationship was in a downward spiral.”

Rebelling against norms, Jackie engaged in risky behavior, consuming alcohol, taking Quaaludes, and smoking marijuana.

At the age of thirteen, she would sneak out of the apartment wearing fishnet stockings and a miniskirt to attend parties at Studio 54, often returning home at four in the morning.

After she was forced out of Dalton, Jackie went to a series of boarding schools for troubled teens.

Once she got expelled from a school in Connecticut for being off-campus, she was sent to Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles in 1985. 

However, this school also did not impress the teen as two weeks later, Walters got a call from the school that said her daughter ran away with a friend she made in Connecticut.

Page shares, “For four frantic days, Barbara had no idea where her teenage daughter had gone.”

Luckily, she was found safe in New Mexico. That was when Walters sent a former Green Beret - who specialized in rescuing runaways to pick up her daughter. 

Jackie was then enrolled in an intervention program in Idaho from where she earned her high school diploma.

Jackie and Barbara Walters reconciled later in life

Though the mother and daughter had a troubled relationship during Jackie’s growing up years, they mended their relationship in the later years.

After the passing of her mother in 2022, Jackie largely remains out of the spotlight.

In her retirement special in 2014, Walters said, “Jackie has found it difficult all her life because she wants to be anonymous, she just doesn’t like to be a celebrity.”

“She may be the only one in the world who doesn’t like to be a celebrity,” added the mother of Jackie.

Share this article:  Barbara Walters once sought help from Green Beret to find her runaway daughter, reveals biography