Prolific writer won fame for ‘Best Lit­tle Whore­house’

Award-win­ning au­thor dies af­ter bat­tling em­phy­sema.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

New York — Larry L. King, a writer and play­wright whose mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle about a cam­paign to close down a pop­u­lar bordello be­came the hit Tony Award-nom­i­nated mu­si­cal “The Best Lit­tle Whore­house in Texas” and a movie star­ring Burt Reynolds, died Thurs­day. He was 83.

His wife, Bar­bara Blaine, said King died af­ter bat­tling em­phy­sema at Chevy Chase House, a re­tire­ment home in Washington where he had been liv­ing the past six months.

King wrote two mu­si­cals, five plays, 14 books, a few screen­plays and hun­dreds of mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles, for which he won an O. Henry Award in 2001.

His works in­clude “None But a Block­head,” a book about the act of writ­ing, and a chil­dren’s book called “Be­cause of Lozo Brown,” about chil­dren’s fears of meet­ing oth­ers.

“King’s strengths are his en­ergy and wit and his in­tegrity not to com­pro­mise the fun­da­men­tals. He rings an Amer­i­can bell,” Norman Mailer once said.

His “Con­fes­sions of a White Racist” — he called it “a gra­tu­itous ad­mis­sion of guilt on be­half of all white racists past and present, ma­lig­nant and be­nign” — was a fi­nal­ist for a Na­tional Book Award.

King do­nated his ar­chives to the South­west­ern Writ­ers Col­lec­tion/Wit­tliff Col­lec­tions at Texas State Univer­sity in San Mar­cos. He re­ceived a Texas Book­end Award for Life­time Achieve­ment in 2004.

A pri­vate funeral was planned. King will be buried at the Texas State Ceme­tery in Austin, his wife said.

AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN 1996

Larry L. King stands in front of the State The­atre on Congress Av­enue in down­town Austin, where his play ‘The Dead Pres­i­dent’s Club’ was about to pre­miere. He penned five plays, 14 books and two mu­si­cals.

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