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Larry King, CNN's legendary talk show host, dies at 87

The broadcasting legend had been hospitalized for a while at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after contracting COVID-19

Larry King, CNN's legendary talk show host, dies at 87
Larry king attends The Paley Center For Media Presents: A Special Evening With Dionne Warwick: Then Came You at The Paley Center for Media on August 1, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

Larry King, the broadcasting giant and longtime CNN talk show host, has died at 87 due to complications from COVID-19. King's son Chance confirmed the news on Saturday morning. He had been hospitalized for a while at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after contracting COVID-19, reports CNN.




Ora Media, the studio and network co-founded by King, wrote a touching obituary as they announced his death on Twitter: "With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. 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. Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows' titles, Larry Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and the audience." It added, "Ora media sends our condolences to his surviving children Larry Jr., Chance, Cannon, and the entire King family." The statement did not confirm a cause of death. 




King entered the Guinness Book of Records for the longest-running show with the same host in the same time slot. He hosted Larry King Live on CNN from June 1, 1985, until December 18, 2010. Prior to this, he was the host of The Larry King Show for Mutual Radio when his agent came to him with an offer from CNN: their founder Ted Turner wanted King for a one-hour interview show to air weeknights at 9 p.m. on the cable news network. The Peabody winner was criticized for lobbing "softball" questions at his guests, to which he retorted in a 2010 chat for the website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, "I'm basically who, what, where, when, why," he said in a 2010 chat for the website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television. "I try to ask questions that only take one or two sentences; if it takes three sentences, it's a bad question." He went on to say, "I don't show off. I don't use the word 'I,' it's irrelevant in an interview, adding, "I've never gone on the air with the idea to embarrass a guest or build up or build down a guest. I'm there to learn." Famously known for his question-and-answer style of King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews. After his stint on CNN, he went on to host Larry King Now for Ora TV. 




A workaholic and a chain-smoker, King suffered from several health problems that included a number of heart attacks. After undergoing quintuple bypass surgery in 19887, he was inspired to establish the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to provide assistance to those without insurance. In 2017, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery to treat it. In 2019, he also had to undergo a procedure to treat angina. 




King was married eight times; once to his high-school sweetheart Freda Miller when he was 18, twice to former Playboy Bunny Alene Akins, and his last wife was Shawn Southwick, whom he wed in 1997, but filed for divorce in 2019. The lifelong fan of the LA Dodgers got to see his son Chance drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2017. In 2020, his 65-year-old son, Andy, died of a heart attack, and his 51-year-old daughter, Chaia, died of lung cancer. He is survived by three other biological children. Per the statement posted across social media, Ora Media said of the arrangements for his final departure, "Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family, who ask for their privacy at this time."



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