News of King’s death was posted on his Twitter account Saturday in a statement from Ora Media, his digital TV network.
King died that morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. No cause of death was given, but he was hospitalized there for COVID
-19 starting in December. King was reportedly moved out of the intensive care unit earlier this month.
The Emmy-winning host, who would sit intently in his suspenders with his sleeves rolled up during interviews, is widely known for his 25-year tenure with CNN on “Larry King Live.”
King’s interviews ranged from celebrities like Lady Gaga, Marlon Brando, Hugh Grant, Jerry Seinfeld and Snoop Dogg to people in the news like Tammy Faye Messner, John F. Kennedy Jr., Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump
. He is also known for his 1994 overage of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase.
King, a Brooklyn native born Lawrence Zeiger, started his career as a journalist and radio host in the 1950s. He went on to host the national radio show “The Larry King Show” in the late ‘70s. His CNN debut came in 1985.
After leaving “Larry King Live” in 2010, he hosted “Larry King Now” for RT America and Hulu and fronted “Larry King Now” and “Politicking with Larry King” for Ora Media.
“While it was his name appearing in the show’s titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience,” Ora Media said in the announcement of King’s death.
“Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions,” the statement continued, adding that King believed this approach would yield the best answers.
King won four CableACE Awards for “Larry King Live” and two Peabody Awards for his work in TV and radio.
In 2019, King, who had heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, suffered a stroke and was in a coma for several weeks. He previously had a tumor removed from his lung, and in 1987 underwent quintuple bypass surgery after suffering a heart attack.
King was married eight times to seven women, most recently to Shawn Southwick. They separated in 2019.
He is survived by his sons Chance King, Larry King Jr. and Cannon King along with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. King is predeceased by his son Andy and daughter Chaia, who both died in August (of a heart attack and lung cancer).
In the wake of King’s death, people, including broadcasters from CNN, shared their favorite moments from his interviews, ranging from heartwarming to record-scratch awkward, along with remembrances of the TV host on social media. Among the gems, there was that one time Jerry Seinfeld called King out for suggesting “Seinfeld” had been canceled, a rare sit-down with Marlon Brando in which Brando suggested that he interview King, and an interview with Debbie Reynolds in which she delivered impressions of Barbra Streisand, Dr. Ruth and Katharine Hepburn.