(Reuters) - Pioneering journalist Barbara Walters plans to retire in May 2014 after more than five decades as one of the most prominent figures on U.S. television, a source familiar with her plans said on Thursday.
Walters, 83, is expected to announce her retirement to viewers herself in the coming weeks, the source said.
"It was very much her decision. I think she will best explain it herself," the source told Reuters.
ABC News executives declined to comment.
Walters, the creator and host of ABC's all-women talk show "The View," had suffered health issues recently, including fainting and hitting her head in January, and then was diagnosed with chicken pox, causing her to miss more than a month of work.
Walters is best known as one of the top interviewers on U.S. television, counting an array of world leaders as subjects, including Cuba's Fidel Castro, Britain's Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every U.S. president since Richard Nixon.
She got her start in television journalism in 1961 as a writer on NBC's "Today," a show that she would later co-anchor.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Will Dunham)