Larry King, the legendary broadcaster and journalist whose time as an interviewer at CNN in part made him a cultural icon, has died. He was 87. Word of King’s passing at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles broke early Saturday morning and was confirmed on his Twitter account by his own television production company, Ora Media. King’s son, Chance, also confirmed his passing, according to CNN.
Ora Media’s statement read in part, “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.”
King's passing comes after he was admitted to the ICU after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in late 2020.
King was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and began his broadcasting career in Miami, accepting a job at a local radio station and doing odd jobs there, earning about $50 a week.
He would gain more notoriety in Florida, and begin a syndicated radio program before landing at CNN in 1985.
“Larry King Live” would run for a quarter of a century before coming to an end in December 2010. Logging more than 50,000 interviews over the course of his career, King was notorious for not preparing before his interviews, a trait he wore with pride, so the audience could better relate to the conversation.
Two years later, King launched Ora Media where he launched “Larry King Now,” an interview program in conjunction with Hulu. RT America, a Russian-owned network, licensed his programming.
King famously said he never had any plans of retiring and would work until he died.
He survived several health scares. In 1987, he suffered a heart attack and underwent quintuple bypass surgery. In 2017, doctors found a cancerous tumor in his lung and successfully removed it. In March 2019, King suffered a stroke. A month later, he had an angioplasty.
King's cause of death has not yet been confirmed. His funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time.
On social media, many expressed sorrow and disbelief at his passing and gratitude for what he had accomplished and how he had impacted so many lives.
“Larry, Regis and Alex in less than a year? So sad,” one user wrote.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted in part, “Larry King was a Brooklyn boy who [became] a newsman who interviewed the newsmakers. He conducted over 50,000 interviews that informed Americans in a clear and plain way.”
Others pointed out King’s sense of humor, reposting snippets of his 2014 interview with DJ Khaled and 2010 interview with Jerry Seinfeld, where the comedian got testy with King for not knowing if his hit show, “Seinfeld” was cancelled or not.
King is survived by three three sons, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Andy King, and his daughter, Chaia King, both of whom died within weeks of each other last year.