Legendary radio and TV interviewer Larry King dies aged 87

Legendary American radio and TV host Larry King has died aged 87. The hard working TV host had spent time in hospital recently after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

King had a decades long career in the USA media where he became one of the most prestigious chat hosts on television, his Larry King Live show on CNN ran for 25 years and saw him spend one hour each day talking to a single guest. His easy going interview style saw him chat to the biggest names in politics, entertainment and society.

Beginning his career in radio in the late 1950’s. Born Lawrence Zeigler in Brooklyn his parents were Orthodox Jews who emigrated to the USA from Belarus. After finishing high school he expressed a desire to have a career in radio, and it was suggested that moving to Miami would give him more opportunity than in New York. Joining a small station in Miami Beach it was suggested he change his name to something people could easily remember.

One of his first roles was doing an interviews for a mid-morning show, he decided to interview people at a local diner, choosing the first person who walked in to be his subject. On the first day he interviewed the waiter, on the second day crooner Bobby Darin walked in – becoming King’s first celebrity interview.

His big break though came in the 1970’s when he began a overnight radio show that saw him conduct long form interviews followed by a talkback long segment. The show was played many stations across America allowing King to build up a loyal following.

In 1985 he began his well known show Larry King Live on CNN. In delivered the hour long program while still continuing with his overnight radio show. He also wrote a weekly newspaper column for over 20 years.

During his career it’s said that King conducted more than 30,000 interviews, some of his more memorable guests included Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Gaga and Celine Dion.

King continued to work as broadcaster until recently, after leaving CNN he founded production company Ora TV alongside Mexican magnate Carlos Slim.

King was married eight times to seven different women and had five children. He is survived by his seventh wife Shawn Southwick, the couple wed in 1997.

OIP Staff

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