Legendary American TV personality Larry King has died today (January 23) aged 87.
The news was revealed on King’s official Twitter account by his representatives, Ora Media. No official cause of death has yet been announced, though King was hospitalised at the start of the month after contracting COVID-19.
“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,” the message wrote.
“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 always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience.”
— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 23, 2021
The message adds: “Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions. He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.
“Larry’s interviews from his 25-year-run on CNN’s Larry King Live and his Ora Media programs Larry King Now and Politicking With Larry King are consistently referenced by media outlets around the world and remain part of the historical record of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The statement concludes: “Ora Media sends our condolences to his surviving children Larry Jr., Chance, Cannon and the entire King family.
“Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family, who ask for their privacy at this time.
King was diagnosed with coronavirus at the end of 2020, which followed a series of health issues in recent years. In 2020, King suffered a stroke, and has previously suffered a heart attack, as well as prostate and lung cancer.
King’s TV career, which spanned many decades, featured long-running slots on CNN and as a columnist at USA Today and made him one of the most notorious celebrity interviewers around.
In the wake of the news of his death, tributes have begun pouring in from the entertainment world.
Sports journalist Keith Olbermann wrote: “My friend Larry King has died. 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.”
My friend Larry King has died.
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. #RIPLarryKing
1) 25 years ago… pic.twitter.com/CrA6tleJDH
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 23, 2021
Labour MP David Lammy added: “So sad Larry King has left us. I watched him nearly every day when I lived in the US.
“His easy going style and the space he gave in his interviews meant you learnt so much about his guests. He was the perfect host to allow into your living room.”
So sad Larry King has left us. I watched him nearly every day when I lived in the US. His easy going style and the space he gave in his interviews meant you learnt so much about his guests. He was the perfect host to allow into your living room. https://t.co/zpRwu9zV7b
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) January 23, 2021
Other tributes to King come from George Takei, who wrote: “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.”
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.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 23, 2021
Boy George, meanwhile, called King a “media legend” while others shared their favourite interviews from the broadcaster’s illustrious career.
See a selection of tributes to Larry King below.
Larry King was a giant of broadcasting and a master of the TV celebrity/statesman-woman interview.
His name is synonymous with CNN and he was vital to the network’s ascent. EVERYONE wanted to be on Larry King Live. May he Rest in Peace.https://t.co/XTgeMqjmcg
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) January 23, 2021
I lost a dear friend and mentor. Truly an American treasure. Rest in peace, Larry King. pic.twitter.com/eQhSYgPqNy
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) January 23, 2021
RIP to radio/TV/digital news legend @kingsthings. It was an honor to watch you do your thing, both on @CNN and in person. My Dad always asked me “Did you see who Larry King talked to last night?” Would’ve blown his mind to know that, one day, it would be his son. Thanks for that. pic.twitter.com/OTQrEar3c4
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 23, 2021
R.i.P To the legend Larry King God bless him. 🙏🏿🕊 pic.twitter.com/2BwiN5O2rb
— 50cent (@50cent) January 23, 2021
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 sends condolences to his family and many friends.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 23, 2021
RIP to the legend Larry King. I was always honored to go on his show just to hear his stories, so they started letting me interview him for the last segment each time. We will miss you. Thanks for the chats and for the suspenders.https://t.co/ZFoMNYpitM
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) January 23, 2021
So many memories with Larry King. There was simply no one like him. I remember all the conversations we had in the commercial breaks. He knew everybody, had stories about them all, yet still got excited like a little kid for a new laugh or a new revelation. pic.twitter.com/2qhDEGlmJX
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 23, 2021
Oh no!!! RIP Larry King…what a Titan you were! One of our true icons. You are no longer in pain. Rest well
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 23, 2021
— Billy Ray Cyrus (@billyraycyrus) January 23, 2021
Rest In Peace Larry King, Rest In Peace… pic.twitter.com/MceHaBS3Cz
— Laura Jane Grace (@LauraJaneGrace) January 23, 2021
Larry King was a friend through thick and thin. A masterful interviewer and storyteller. He helped put CNN on the map by making news through the art of dialogue.. May he Rest In Peace.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) January 23, 2021
Wow. Media legend. Interviewed me a few times. R.I.P#larryking
— Boy George (the truth is in your breath) (@BoyGeorge) January 23, 2021
This is my favorite Larry King clip and it's not even close. A true legend. pic.twitter.com/2UjtytFUH9
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) January 23, 2021
Love this clip i found of @kingsthings talking about spending your life, doing what you love…BROADCASTING 💔🎙🙏 #riplarryking a pioneer and trailblazer SO MANY LOOKED UP TO 😰🤗😰 pic.twitter.com/B7X5wqSrZi
— Lisa Foxx/Radio Hostess w/the Mostess (@DJLisaFoxx) January 23, 2021
With the news that Larry King passed away this morning, I had to go back and watch this interaction with Jerry Seinfeld. pic.twitter.com/qPc2ThOrNF
— Alex Seixeiro (@alexfan590) January 23, 2021
✨Larry King about Michael Jackson's passing ✨
[RIP both🙏🏽] pic.twitter.com/KsminU4uEi
— OMAR ARNOLD ♛ |✊🏻✊🏿| ♛ (@Omar_777_) January 23, 2021
Thank you Larry King for providing us with this iconic Mariah moment. RIP ❤️ pic.twitter.com/x8FmX2V7GS
— K Æ P Œ – 12 (@kaypeaux) January 23, 2021