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King was monarch of all he hosted

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LOS ANGELES: The iconic talk show host Larry King, one of the most recog­nis­able fig­ures on US tele­vi­sion as he in­ter­viewed ev­ery­one who was any­one over a ca­reer span­ning 60 years, died on Satur­day at the age of 87.

The com­pany he co-founded, Ora Me­dia, did not state a cause of death but me­dia re­ports said King had been batling COVID-19 for weeks and had suf­fered sev­eral health prob­lems in re­cent years.

King, with his trade­mark sus­penders, black rim glasses and deep voice, was best known for a 25-year run as a talk show host on CNN’S “Larry King Live.”

King’s long list of in­ter­vie­wees ranged from ev­ery US pres­i­dent since 1974, world lead­ers Yasser Arafat and Vladimir Putin, and celebri­ties such as Frank Si­na­tra, Mar­lon Brando and Bar­bra Streisand.

Born Lawrence Har­vey Zeiger on Nov.19, 1933, to poor Rus­sian im­mi­grants in work­ing-class Brook­lyn, New York, King says he never wanted to be any­thing but a ra­dio broad­caster.

At the age of 23 he went to Florida to try and find a job.

He be­came a disc-jockey for a Mi­ami ra­dio sta­tion in 1957, chang­ing his name to King when the ra­dio’s man­ager told him it was “too eth­nic.”

For an­other Mi­ami Beach ra­dio sta­tion he recorded pro­grammes in a restau­rant, do­ing live au­di­ence in­ter­views.

In 1978 he went to Washington where he an­chored a na­tional late-night ra­dio call-in show, be­fore be­ing spoted by CNN, a chan­nel founded in 1980, which hired him for its nigh­t­ime pro­grammes in 1985.

“Larry King Live”, which ran from 1985-2010, broad­cast six nights a week to more than 200 coun­tries. CNN puts his to­tal num­ber of in­ter­views at 30,000.

At the height of its suc­cess the show atracted more than a mil­lion view­ers ev­ery night, mak­ing King the star of ca­ble tele­vi­sion, on the back of which he ne­go­ti­ated an an­nual salary of more than $7 mil­lion.

Ater CNN King con­tin­ued to do in­ter­views on his own web­site and then, in 2013, he hosted a new show, “Larry King Now,” on Rus­sia To­day, a gov­ern­ment-funded Rus­sian in­ter­na­tional tele­vi­sion net­work.

His pri­vate life has been colour­ful too: ater 22 years of mar­riage he di­vorced his sev­enth wife Shawn South­wick in 2019, hav­ing filed eight times for a di­vorce - he mar­ried one wife twice.

“In­stead of good­bye, how about so long?” he said, voice break­ing, as he signed off from his show that made him fa­mous.

Tributes from the me­dia, politi­cians and Hol­ly­wood stars poured in, led by Putin, who hailed the in­ter­viewer’s “great pro­fes­sion­al­ism and un­ques­tioned jour­nal­is­tic au­thor­ity,” ac­cord­ing to the Krem­lin.

LOS ANGELES: The iconic talk show host Larry King, one of the most recog­nis­able fig­ures on US tele­vi­sion as he quizzed ev­ery­one who was any­one over a ca­reer span­ning 60 years, died on Satur­day at the age of 87. Here is the re­ac­tion to the death of Larry King.

“Larry King was a Brook­lyn boy who be­come a news­man who in­ter­viewed the news­mak­ers. He con­ducted over 50,000 in­ter­views that in­formed Amer­i­cans in a clear and plain way,” New York Gover­nor An­drew Cuomo tweeted. “New York sends con­do­lences to his fam­ily and many friends.”

“Oh no!!! RIP Larry King...what a Ti­tan you were! One of our true icons. You are no longer in pain. Rest well,” ac­tor Vi­ola Davis wrote on Twiter.

“R.I.P. Larry King. I loved his all night ra­dio show in the 80’s. You could call in at 1 in the morn­ing and just riff for hours. His ra­dio show made a great open­ing for Lost In Amer­ica. Rest easy Larry,” ac­tor Al­bert Brooks tweeted.

“My friend Larry King has died,” news com­men­ta­tor Keith Ol­ber­mann wrote on Twiter. “It is lit­er­ally true that thou­sands of us can make that sad state­ment this morn­ing. While he was eas­ily car­i­ca­tured, I’ve never known any­body who made a big­ger deal out of the slight­est kind­ness af­forded him.”

“I lost a dear friend and men­tor. Truly an Amer­i­can trea­sure. Rest in peace, Larry King,”

Ryan Seacrest tweeted.

“R.I.P To the leg­end Larry King God bless him,” en­ter­tainer 50 Cent wrote on Twiter.

“Thanks for the count­less in­ter­views and in­sights, Larry King. You un­der­stood hu­man tri­umph and frailty equally well, and that is no easy feat. There was no one else like you, and you shall be missed. Rest with the heav­ens now,” ac­tor Ge­orge Takei tweeted.

“It is with emo­tion and af­fec­tion that I re­mem­ber #Lar­ryk­ing, king of the talk show and leg­endary face of @CNN, a re­mark­able in­di­vid­ual, a great jour­nal­ist and a good man who loved life deeply,” singer An­drea Bo­celli wrote on Twiter.

“RIP Larry King!!!! I loved the easy breezy for­mat of his CNN show, and his amaz­ing voice,” Bravo TV Pro­ducer and Ex­ec­u­tive Andy Co­hen wrote on Twiter. “The Los Angeles Dodgers are sad­dened by the pass­ing of Larry King and of­fer their deep­est con­do­lences to his fam­ily and friends,” the base­ball team tweeted.

“I’ve had the hon­our of be­ing in­ter­viewed by Larry King mul­ti­ple times in my life. It was al­ways a joy and a plea­sure. He truly was the King of Talk. On a per­sonal level, I’ll miss him. Pro­fes­sion­ally, we’ll all miss him. Rest In Peace, my friend,” Jesse Ven­tura, for­mer gover­nor of Min­nesota, wrote on Twiter.

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