Popular Interviewer Larry King, well known for his own nightly talk show on CNN, has died. He was 87 years od and he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to a statement posted to his official social media accounts.
Ora Media, the parent company of Ora TV — which King co-launched in 2012 — also confirmed the news. A a cause of death was not specified, though King was hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month.
King, while suffering from COVID-19, had been moved into intensive care on New Year's Eve. His spokesman had announced on Jan. 4 that King had been moved out of the unit and was breathing on his own.
CNN went live with the news of King's death shortly after 8 a.m. ET, as New Day Weekend turned toward remembering one of their own. Network anchor Brian Stelter read on air a statement from CNN president Jeff Zucker, and noted how King helped to put CNN on the map as a "force on cable, a force on television." Zucker's statement reads, in part.
Watch the Video below:
Larry King Biography:
King, who never made it to college and never took a journalism class, first made his mark in Miami and then from a studio in Washington, D.C., where he hosted the first national radio talk show in the U.S. and attracted a weekly audience of 3 million-5 million listeners.
He hosted Larry King Live on CNN from June 1, 1985, until Dec. 18, 2010, earning a listing in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot.
King was living in D.C. and hosting the overnight The Larry King Show for Mutual Radio when his agent, Bob Woolf — most famous for representing such superstar athletes as Larry Bird and Joe Montana — called him with an offer from Ted Turner: the CNN founder wanted King for a one-hour interview show to air weeknights at 9 p.m. on the cable news network.
On CNN's fifth anniversary, King went on the air as host of Larry King Live — "I knew 10 minutes into that show that it was going to work" — and his first guest was then-New York governor Mario Cuomo. The indefatigable King did the program out of D.C. while still hosting his radio show and writing a column for USA Today.
King gave up the radio gig in 1994 and three years later moved to Los Angeles. In the late 1990s, Larry King Live regularly reached more than 1.5 million U.S. viewers a night.