Spirit of the Women's Hall of Fame
Born with a rare and genetic condition called ectrodactyly (the fusing of fingers and toes), Bree Walker's multiple accomplishments have given hope and inspiration to many. Bree worked as a talk show host, television news anchor, investigative reporter, producer, actress, disability rights activist and warrior for progressive causes.Walker started her career in the mid-1970s in Kansas as a rock and roll disk jockey. Her hit show brought offers to move to New York, where she became the first-ever female morning disk jockey. In 1978 she moved to San Diego and became the highest-rated FM disk jockey. In 1980 she pursued her ambition to be a news anchor and started work as a consumer advocacy reporter at KGTV Channel 10 News. Once well established, Walker decided to go reveal her ectrodactyly--she had previously kept her hands hidden inside glove-like prosthetic hands.
After seven years in San Diego Walker moved first to WCBS-TV in New York and then to KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Even before her move, Walker had earned a national reputation as an activist for people with disabilities. She served on the President's Committee for Employment of the Handicapped, the California Governor's Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Women's International Center. She earned several awards for her work, including the 1992 National Courage Award from the Courage Center in Minneapolis and the Senator Robert Dole Foundation's Media Awareness Award, given in Washington, D.C. in 1992.
In addition to news anchoring, Walker guest-starred on an episode of the PBS children's series Reading Rainbow to talk about her disability, and in 2006 she appeared as an inspirational woman with ectrodactyly on the fourth season premiere of the show Nip/Tuck. In 2007 Walker purchased Camp Casey, five-and-a-half acres of central Texas property neighboring the Bush ranch, to carry on the legacy of a peace movement that came together to protest the Iraq war. Bree Walker's decades in various social justice movements and the anti-war movement put her in the forefront in the fight for peace. As of 2017, Walker was living in Hawaii and devoting time to philanthropic causes.