Larry King, the iconic and multi-award winning U.S. television and radio host, has died at the age of 87.
King’s death was announced on his Twitter page on Saturday morning by Ora Media, the studio and network he co-founded. He died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles weeks after it was revealed that he had been hospitalized with coronavirus and spent time in the ICU.
— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 23, 2021
“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the sad death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King,” the Ora Media update said. “Ora Media sends our condolences to his surviving children Larry, Jr, Chance, Cannon and the entire King family. Funeral services and a memorial service will be announced later in co-ordination with the King family, who ask for privacy at this time.”
King was born in Brooklyn in 1933 and went on to have a highly decorated six-decade career in broadcasting, becoming best-known for his CNN show Larry King Live, which ran from 1985-2010. In recent years, he has hosted Ora Media shows Larry King Now and Politicking With Larry King.
King was a brilliant interviewer, with memorable encounters including a broadcast with Marlon Brando in 1994, featuring singing and kissing, and chairing a 1993 debate between former Vice President Al Gore and billionaire businessman Ross Perot on the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement. He had on his shows every American President and First Lady since Richard Nixon. And who can forget King presiding over live coverage of the O.J. Simpson car chase in 1994.
King won an Emmy in 1999 for his interview with Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War. Millions tuned in as the 38-year-old murderer spoke to King from the confines of death row. “Does it get worse every day?” King asked as she crept closer to the lethal injection. “No. It gets a little more exciting every day,” she replied.
At the 2011 News & Documentary Emmys, King was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In an emotional acceptance speech, he said: “I was lucky enough to be in a business where I really didn’t have to work. It was unbelievable to go in every night and meet people and ask them questions. It was a privilege.”
King also appeared in numerous TV shows and films over the years, mainly as himself, including Arthur, 30 Rock, The Simpsons and Gravity Falls. He had cameos in Ghostbusters and Bee Movie and voiced Doris the Ugly Stepsister in Shrek 2 and its sequels, He also played himself in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Trial By Jury, among many others.
Ora Media said:
“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s may thousands of interviews, awards and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster
“Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience.
“Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, uncomplicated questions. He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”
King got his break in broadcasting as a DJ in Florida, where he developed his conversational interviewing style. Radio remained a passion during his career and he hosted the national radio show, The Larry King Show, from 1978 to 1994. But he was synonymous with CNN, helping put the TV news network on the map and in turn, burnishing his own reputation through around 50,000 interviews.
CNN President Jeff Zucker said: “We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King… The scrappy young man from Brooklyn had a history-making career spanning radio and television. His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him.
“We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage. From our CNN family to Larry’s, we send our thoughts and prayers, and a promise to carry on his curiosity for the world in our work.”
King dealt with numerous health issues in his life, including a heart attack, prostate and lung cancer, a stroke, and type two diabetes. But, despite his ailing health, he continued hosting weekly talk show, Politicking with Larry King, until his death.
His last personal tweet was posted on Thanksgiving, when he posed for a picture with his sons Chance and Cannon.
King is survived by five of his children, Chance, Cannon, Danny, Kelly and Larry Jr.
I’m thankful for my boys and dinner from Craig’s! pic.twitter.com/N91GZA9jOj
— Larry King (@kingsthings) November 27, 2020
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