The world has lost a remarkable woman, Barbara Walters, and I have lost a dear friend. When I wrote my first book at 19, it didn’t make me famous and it wasn’t a bestseller, but it opened doors to me to extraordinary people I would never have known otherwise, and I didn’t understand then. They saw something in me that I never saw in myself. As a teen ager and my early 20’s, they mentored me, encouraged me, protected me, taught me so much about life. My agent, Mort Janklow, who died in May, Alex Haley my mentor, and Barbara.They were giants in the world. I had no idea the huge difference they would make in my life, and that our friendships would last forever. I met Barbara when I was 21 and a nobody, and Barbara was already a huge star. She was an incredible woman, a trailblazer, a giant in a world of men. She was brilliant, courageous, kind, discreet, elegant, funny, she gave the best birthday parties in the world. She didn’t gather people, they were drawn to her like a magnet. She was HUGE, she changed the world for women, for journalists, for people, the first woman news anchor, she interviewed commoners, kings and presidents. She even interviewed me once I was famous. I was privileged that she took me under her wing and cheered me on. My last letter from her was on December 15th. My heart aches at the loss of her now. Even at 93, it is too soon. She will forever be the brightest star in the sky, and in my heart. I will cherish her memory forever.