The hosting king conducted over 40,000 interviews in his career which spanned 63 years, and he never prepared for his interviews. Larry King was famously known for having conversations with the guests rather than questioning them.
Award-winning TV and radio host, Larry King, who made a name for himself for being one of the greatest broadcasting giants for half-a-century, passed away on Saturday morning, January 23, at the age of 87.
King's official Twitter announced the heartbreaking news with the statement that read, “With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.”
The news of King's demise comes weeks after it was revealed in December 2020 that the host was hospitalized with COVID-19. Noting the host's career span, the statement continued, "For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster." However, the cause of his death was not revealed in the statement.
King started his career in the late 1950s in Miami while working as a janitor at a local radio station, when he was asked to take the place of an announcer who abruptly quit. Recalling the incident, told People, "I was petrified. The theme music was supposed to fade, and I was supposed to do a voice-over. But every time the music faded I'd turn it back up again. Finally the station manager stuck his head into the studio and said, 'Remember, this is a communicating business.' I let the music go down and told the audience what had just happened. Those were my first words on radio."
Then in 1978, he began his hosting game with The Larry King Show which would be aired live for five hours. Later in 1985, he was given his own CNN series titled Larry King Live. In his career which spanned 63 years, he conducted more than 40,000 interviews with presidents, movie stars, and famous athletes.
AP reported that the hosting king never prepared for his interviews. He was famously known for having conversations with the guests rather than questioning them. In a 1995 interview with the publication, he said, “I don’t pretend to know it all. Not, `What about Geneva or Cuba?′ I ask, `Mr. President, what don’t you like about this job?′ Or `What’s the biggest mistake you made?′ That’s fascinating.”
King found a place in the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame for his exceptional work and in 1997, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also won two Peabody Awards, according to the Rolling Stone.
After he parted ways with CNN in 2012, he moved on to Larry King Now and Politicking With Larry King in 2012 and 2013 respectively on Ora TV. Along with hosting, King made a lot of cameos in shows like 30 Rock, Murphy Brown, Ghostbusters, Frasier, Primary Colors, and American Crime Story.
Even though the hosting giant did extremely well in his career, he battled a number of health problems over the years. In 1987, he suffered a heart attack following which he underwent quintuple bypass surgery. This inspired him to begin the Larry King Cardiac Foundation aimed at providing assistance to those who needed it. Then in 2017, he was diagnosed with lung cancer but recovered from it after successful surgery and treatment.
In 2019 he was reported to have undergone angioplasty and stent insertion following chest pains. He did not return to the air after his hospitalization. If this wasn't enough, last year in August, King lost two of his children weeks apart from each other. While 65-year-old Andy King suffered a heart attack, his 52-year-old daughter, Chaia King passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Following their deaths, King had penned on Facebook, "Losing them feels so out of order. No parent should have to bury a child." Even though he never found his one true love in his eight marriages, he enjoyed being a father. He once told People in 2020, "I'm a good father — nothing beats parenthood. There's an element of pinching myself every day. Look at what I've come through. All in all if you look at it, I've had a blessed life."
The legend’s surviving children, Larry King, Jr., 59; Chance King, 21; and Cannon King, 20, released a joint family statement announcing their heartbreak on Twitter saying, “The world knew Larry King as a great broadcaster and interviewer, but to us, he was 'dad.' He was the man who lovingly obsessed over our daily schedules and our well-being, and who took such immense pride in our accomplishments -- large, small, or imagined. And, through it all, we knew without a doubt in the world that he loved us more than life itself.”
Statement from the family of Larry King pic.twitter.com/LgBiZKFwcJ— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 24, 2021
Stating that King was not only an "amazing father" but a "friend" too, the trio added, “We will miss him every single day of our lives." They requested the fans showing their love to donate to the American Heart Association or the Beverly Hills Fire Department EMS stating that "a debt of gratitude is owed for the wonderful care they provided to our dad in his final years.”
King worked till the age of 85 but never found it overwhelming. He told People in 2003, "While it seems like I'm doing a lot, I don't think of it as work. I love what I do."