Larry King, an extraordinary broadcast host for more than six decades, dies at 87

Monet Troche, Managing Editor

On Jan. 23, renowned talk show host, television host, and spokesperson, Larry King passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Ora TV, the production company King co-founded, released a statement about his passing to King’s Twitter account.
Larry King, born, Lawrence Harvey Ziegler, on Nov. 19, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York City.
In 1957, King received his first broadcasting job as a radio show host at WAHR/Miami, the company where he started out as a cleaner. Through this job, he later changed his last name to King, as WAHR’s general manager believed Ziegler was too hard to remember. King would interview anyone who walked into the WAHR studio. Two days after his first interview with a restaurant server, he conducted his first celebrity with singer-songwriter, Bobby Darin.
More than two decades later, in 1978, King started hosting his own show, The Larry King Show. It was broadcasted nationally on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Like many radio shows, King’s show consisted of interviews, callers dialing in with questions regarding the interview, and later, phone calls about many topics. The show became very successful and within its first four years, it received a Peabody Award for Excellence in radio in 1982 and television in 1992.
King began hosting Larry King Live on CNN in 1985. He simultaneously hosted both The Larry King Show and Larry King Live until his departure from The Larry King Show in 1994.
According to CNN, King conducted more than 30,000 interviews throughout his career. He interviewed thousands of guests including, public figures, celebrities, politicians, and entrepreneurs. Some of his most famous interviews include Frank Sinatra in 1988, Marlon Brando in 1994, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr of The Beatles in 2007, Jerry Seinfield in 2007, Lady Gaga in 2010, Donald Trump in 1999, and President and former Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin in 2000 and 2010.
In 2010, King announced that he would be stepping down from Larry King Live but he continued to host occasional specials until 2012. A few months after he left CNN, he co-founded Ora TV, a television production company and on-demand digital television network with business magnate Carlos Slim.
Aside from his work in radio and television broadcasting, King guest-starred in many movies and shows throughout his career. He appeared in Bee Movie, Ghostbusters, Enemy of the State, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Trial by Jury, among many others.
Throughout his life, he also made charitable contributions including his non-profit organization, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which paid for life-saving procedures for people who weren’t able to afford them. He also served as the host of Chabad’s 30th annual “To Life” telethon and donated to the Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden.
King has received many awards and nominations for his outstanding work, a few of those include, CableACE and Emmy awards. He won 10 CableACE awards for Best Talk Show Series and Best Interviewer. He won his first Emmy for Outstanding Interview/Interviewer in 1996 and received three more Emmy nominations in 2002, 2003, and 2014. King was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1996.
Larry King’s more than 60 years of service to the broadcasting industry will not be forgotten and his legacy and contributions will continue for many years to come.