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Larry King — best known as a TV and Radio host — died Saturday morning, Jan 23, 2021, while in the hospital receiving care for COIV-19. He was 87 years old. Ora Media announced his passing on Twitter.
No cause of death has been released but he had been battling the coronavirus at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California when he died. If the reports are accurate, he was hospitalized in mid-to-late December 2020.
He was born on Nov. 19, 1933, as Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in Brooklyn, New York. King was nine years old when his dad died of heart disease, leaving his mom to raise him and his little brother Marty.
While he always dreamed of working on radio, he put it aside to help his mom cover living costs and raise two boys on her own.
As chance would have it, he met a CBS TV announcer who suggested he go to Florida for a broadcasting job. The announcer told him the media market was growing in the state. Moreover, he said they were hiring inexperienced broadcasters.
It was the late 1950s when King started his 63-year long career in radio, TV, and digital media. He caught his first break at a radio station in Miami Beach, WAHR. Soon, he filled the 9 a.m. to noon slot on-air and afternoon news and sportscasts.
King will be remembered for no-nonsense interviews. His trick was to talk with celebrities and heads of state as though he were doing a live interview on the streets.
His skills earned him induction in both the Broadcasters and the National Radio Halls of Fame. He also won two Peabody Awards. As a producer, he has six credits to his name — he produced 1,007 episodes of “Larry King Live,” four other TV series, and a documentary.
Additional credits include 65 acting gigs. Much of the time his character was Larry King. He appeared in films like the 1984 version of “Ghostbusters” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” He was Doris, the ugly stepsister’s voice in all of the Shrek films. In another cartoon, he was the figure’s voice on “Gravity Falls” — an animation, adventure, comedy TV series attractive to an adolescent audience.
Other acting jobs were on TV series such as “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and “Frasier.”
CNN reports King conducted 30,000 interviews over the span of his career. His statement below depicts the type of interviewer he was:
I never think of access or good will. I just want a good interview. I want guests to be informative and entertaining. I’ve never been concerned about someone’s liking me tomorrow.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CBS News: Larry King, veteran talk show host, has died at 87
Rolling Stone: Larry King, Veteran TV and Radio Host, Dead at 87; by Ryan Reed and Daniel Kreps
PBS: Report: Talk show host Larry King in hospital with COVID-19
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License