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Beloved Betty White passes away, leaving America to remember her legacy

McKinley Curran, Podcast Editor

Last week, right before the beginning of the new year, our hearts sank at the news that the timeless television personality, Betty White, had passed away. Even at 99 years old, Betty White carried with her the same spirit that drew in people all those years ago. Her infectious smile and laugh impacted many and will go down in history as a part of the world’s pop culture for almost a century.

With Ms. White only 18 days short of reaching her 100th birthday, the world was shocked and saddened to see our Golden Girl pass away. Betty White was a pioneer of early television and paved the way for women’s success as a female voice in a male-dominating industry.

She began her career as one of memorable characters on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. This was only the first of the many media appearances she would make throughout her life. White also starred as Rose Nylund on the iconic television show, The Golden Girls. The show contributed greatly to becoming the phenom people view her as today. She would also go on to make appearances on Saturday Night Live, and eventually host the show at 88 years old.

The sweet yet bold star was a force in the industry on and off the camera. She co-funded her own production company and was the first woman to produce a national TV show. She worked towards animal welfare and was a contributor in raising HIV/AIDS research and awareness.

She broke barriers and took monumental steps in the entertainment industry. She hired black dancers on her TV show in the early fifties which made a huge shift with people in the media. Although stations threatened to cancel the show or fire the black tap dancer, Ms. White simply replied, “live with it.” She was an advocate for equality in every aspect and was a voice for all that couldn’t speak for themselves.

In her career, Ms. White won five Primetime Emmys and one Daytime Emmy. She was also in 2014 “Guinness World Records” certified her as the longest-ever female entertainer.

It is almost impossible to sum up Betty White’s legacy, because of the countless contributions she has made in and out of the media for nearly seven decades. The world will miss the spunk that White used her to make the world a funnier and more accepting place. She refined success and redefined what it meant to be a woman in the entertainment industry. She broke down barriers and in doing so, created a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.