Remembering Rosalind P. Walter

March 5, 2020

Rosalind P. Walter. Photo: Joseph Sinnott

Longtime WNET trustee Rosalind P. Walter passed away on Wednesday, March 4. She was a remarkable ambassador and advocate and exceptionally generous supporter of WNET and public television for more than 30 years.

In a note to Trustees today, WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro said, “Roz told me many times that she considered WNET to be her family … and so today we mourn the loss of a valued Trustee and dear family member.”

Known by the nickname Roz, Walter gave crucial support to countless programs and series through the Rosalind P. Walter Foundation, including American Masters, which she helped to launch; Great PerformancesNYC-ARTSTreasures of New YorkPBS NewsHour WeekendAmanpour and CompanyALL ARTS, and the work of Ken and Ric Burns.

Walter cared deeply about the quality and educational value of public television and understood the importance of reaching the broadest possible audience. She was an inspiration to the millions of viewers who benefited from her generosity — and who saw her name every evening in connection with their favorite programs.

In addition to WNET, over the years, Walter served on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History, The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television and Radio), Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club, International Tennis Hall of Fame, North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary, Long Island University, and USTA Serves.

During World War II, Walter inspired the creation of “Rosie the Riveter,” a song about civilian women employed in the war industry, written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb and recorded by Kay Kyser. At the time, Walter was a Long Island woman who was a riveter on Corsair fighter planes, made in Connecticut.

Her passing was reported in The New York Times on March 4.

Roz Walter with WNET President & CEO Neal Shapiro at the WNET’s 2015 Gala Salute.