King, 87, had been admitted in the hospital with COVID-19. He gave up the ghost this Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA, Ora Media, a production firm Larry established with Mexican media billionaire businessman Carlos Slim, declared.
Ora Media said for 63 years, over all the radio platforms, TV and digital media, King’s various interviews, awards, and global excellence stand as a testimony to his unique and unending talent as a broadcaster.
During this period of more than 50 years in radio and TV broadcasting, a half of it was spent hosting CNN’s “Larry King Live,” King rolled with the popular and unpopular
In his count, he has interviewed more than 60 thousand subjects, and at the time his run on cable ended in 2010, he proceeded to the Internet with the daily talk show, “Larry King Now,” on Hulu from Ora TV, and then became very active on Twitter.
He had vowed never to retire and still keep interviewing till he died. But Larry wasn’t immune to other sickness: 30 years after he underwent five heart bypass surgery, which had led him to stop a lifelong 3-pack-a-day-cigarette-smoking habit and lose weight, a medical checkup in 2017 had shown a cancerous lung tumor which was actually removed with surgery.
The famous talk show host is shown on set of his program, ‘Larry King Live’ at the CNN studios in LA in March 2005.
He disclosed he was battling with stroke in March 2019, was in a coma for days and at a point, considered suicide. In April, that same year, he had an angioplasty after series of complaint on chest pains. But again, he recovered then kept working.
Close to end of 2020, King got hospitalized in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with COVID-19. Hospital protocols restricted his family from seeing him. He was then transferred to the ICU on New Year’s Eve(December 31) where he was receiving oxygen but in early January he moved out of the ICU and could breathe on his own, a spokesman for Ora Media said at the time.
“King was one of the few people in broadcast history who basically created his own phenomenon,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute. “He didn’t need a network. The network needed him.”
Larry King Ups and Downs
King had admitted he had ups and downs in his personal life. Born to an Austrian immigrant who had lived in Brooklyn, New York., he was born with the name Lawrence Harvey Zieger.
Larry King’s breakthrough came on a radio station in Miami when he was doing a night-time interview show. A Miami Herald column followed, where Larry King talked about stars performing at Miami Beach hotels, like Frank Sinatra.
King had described his early days as often chaotic, destroyed by his lavish spending on cars, gambling and ladies. He got married 8 times to 7 wives, which had openly gave him a reputation of a womanizer. At a point, he filed for divorce from his present marriage – his 7th wife, Shawn Southwick, in 2010; they later came, but filed for divorce again in 2019. He was consistently in debt and would borrow from his friends. At a point he was being charged with grand larceny after failing to pay back a $5,000 loan from a friend.
He survived with 5 children: Andy and Chaia, the two with his 3rd wife, Playboy bunny Alene Akins, died in weeks of each other in 2020, at 65 and 51, respectively.