Walter Winchell (1897 - February 20, 1972) was an American journalist.

In newspapers columns and on the radio, he invented the gossip column. He broke the journalistic taboo against exposing the private lives of public figures, permanently altering the shape of journalism and celebrity.

He was extremely popular and influential in shaping public opinion, notoriously aiding and ruining the careers of many entertainers. He authored many quips such as "Nothing recedes like success," and "I usually get my stuff from people who promised somebody else that they would keep it a secret."

Although his obituary appeared on the front page of The New York Times, he died forgotten and disgraced.