US Talk Show Host Larry King Dies Weeks After Testing Positive For Covid
Larry King, the one who quizzed thousands of world leaders, politicians and entertainers for CNN and other news outlets in a career spanning more than six decades, has died at the age of 87.
King had been hospitalized in Los Angeles with a COVID-19 infection, according to several media reports. He had endured health problems for many years, including a near-fatal stroke in 2019 and diabetes.He had been hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for more than a week. This was reported by CNN.
Millions watched King interview world leaders, entertainers and other celebrities on CNN’s “Larry King Live”, which ran from 1985 to 2010.
Hunched over his desk in rolled-up shirt sleeves and owlish glasses, he made his show one of the network’s prime attractions with a mix of interviews, political discussions, current event debates and phone calls from viewers.
King said, he never wanted to be perceived as a journalist. Earlier in an interview he said that, “My duty, as I see it, is I’m a conduit, I ask the best questions I can. I listen to the answers. I try to follow up. And hopefully the audience makes a conclusion. I’m not there to make a conclusion. I’m not a soapbox talk-show host… So what I try to do is present someone in the best light.”
After 25 years on cable, King announced in 2010 that he would retire, having slipped behind Sean Hannity at Fox News and Rachel Maddow at MSNBC in cable ratings. By the time he left, he estimated he’d done about 50,000 interviews during more than a half century on radio and television. He won an Emmy award for lifetime achievement in 2011.
King interviewed world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, performers such as Lady Gaga, and an assortment of athletes, actors, national heroes and unknown individuals suddenly tossed into the limelight. Marlon Brando famously kissed King on the lips on air — as did his onetime girlfriend Angie Dickinson, the sultry TV actress.
King said he left it to the producers to pick his guests and did not prepare much, preferring to ask simple questions and listen carefully to the answers.
King was kind as he pitched a variety of products on radio and TV, used his show to raise funds for disaster relief after natural disasters hit New Orleans and Haiti.
To add up more information, Larry King was born Lawrence Zeiger on Nov. 19, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to immigrant Jewish parents. He got his start in broadcasting in the Florida market, where a friend had told him there was a shortage of on-air talent. He started at WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach, initially as a cleaner. When an announcer suddenly quit, King was put on air.
He was married eight times including twice to the same woman and had five children, two of whom died in 2020.