It’s been more than four years since Barbara Walters retired, but her fellow alums of The View still remember the lessons they learned from her. “She helped me find my voice,” Sherri Shepherd exclusively told Closer Weekly at WE tv’s recent ‘Real Love: Relationship Reality TV’s Past, Present & Future’ panel in LA. “She told me, ‘If you don’t learn how to speak up, I’m going to eat you up.’”

Barbara, 89, also gave Sherri, 51, a vote of confidence after the TV neophyte was widely criticized for saying she didn’t know if the earth was round or flat. “Barbara said to me, ‘If I didn’t think you could do this job, I wouldn’t have hired you, dear,’” Sherri recalled. “And that changed everything for me.”

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The pioneering newswoman led by example. “Barbara was a woman who had to fight for her place with a bunch of men who didn’t want her there,” Sherri said. “I felt like I could conquer the world after I sat with her.”

To this day, Barbara is still widely known as one of the most famous news anchors to ever work at ABC. “She went where no woman went before in journalism and TV,” an insider previously told Closer Weekly about the news icon. “She’s most proud of the fact she was a trailblazer for women in the workplace.”

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Though Barbara had an extraordinarily successful career, a friend of the star said that it will be very unlikely for Barbara to return to the newsroom anytime soon. She’s leaving all of the work for the next crop of journalists. “She’s lived a long, outrageously successful, and productive life,” the friend explained to Closer in a previous interview. “She’s content with her legacy, even now that it is away from the spotlight.”

For more on Barbara Walters, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!