On November 19, 1933, Larry King’s birth name was Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, and he was born in Brooklyn, New York.
He was the son of Jennie, a textile worker who was born in Lithuania, and Aaron Zeiger, who was the owner of a restaurant and was originally from Austria-Hungary. King received his high school education at Lafayette in Brooklyn.
His father had a heart attack at the age of 44, which caused him to lose his life while he was a teenager. As a result, his mother, brother, and himself had to rely on welfare to make ends meet.
Larry was profoundly impacted by the early death of his father, and as a result, he gradually lost interest in school. Even when he was young, he had the ambition to work in radio. In order to get his radio career off the ground, King would have to travel all the way to Miami, Florida.
After experiencing some initial difficulties in establishing himself in Miami, he began his broadcasting career in 1957 on WAHR.
Larry was initially employed to clean up around the studio and conduct odd chores around the office, but when one of the station’s announcers left unexpectedly, he was given the opportunity to start working in the broadcasting department. On May 1, 1957, he made his debut as a disc jockey on a local radio station, performing between the 9 a.m. to noon time period.
In addition to that, he was the host of a sportscast and two afternoon newscasts. He got paid $50 a week. The management of the station recommended that he consider changing his name so that it was perceived as being less “ethnic.”
Within the space of two years, he went through the process of officially changing his name to Larry King. He was inspired to do so by an advertising for King’s Wholesale Liquor that was published in the Miami Herald.
At first, he did the interviews for a show on WIOD that aired in the middle of the morning at a restaurant in Miami Beach called Pumpernik’s.
He would do an interview with anyone who passed through the door; his very first interview was with a waiter at a restaurant. Two days later, on the third day, singer Bobby Darin stepped in off the street and became King’s very first celebrity interview subject.
After another three years, King made the transition from radio to television by becoming the host of the show “Miami Undercover.”
Because of the show, Larry became a well-known figure in the community. When he became the color commentator for the Miami Dolphins football club, he also received further exposure to a wider audience.
When King was accused of grand theft by a former business partner Louis Wolfson in December 1971, his fame was not enough to rescue him from a run-it with the law. Wolfson was King’s former business partner. He was put on administrative leave after being detained in Miami.
After some time, he was offered a job with the Mutual Radio Network, which is now known as the Mutual Broadcast System. There, he soon rose to prominence with “The Larry King Show,” which amassed a devoted audience and more than five hundred affiliates.
After the debut of “Larry King Live” in June 1985, King quickly rose to prominence as a result of the show, which continues to hold the record for being CNN’s longest-running television program.
He would conduct interviews with notable people in positions of power, including politicians and celebrities from the entertainment sector.
After hosting his show on CNN from nine to ten o’clock at night, King would drive to the studios of the Mutual Broadcasting System to host his radio program there. King’s technique to interviewing became famous for being straightforward and non-confrontational at the same time.
He became well-known for the fact that the questions he asked his interviewees were uncomplicated and left room for them to answer freely. Throughout his career, King has participated in more than 30,000 interviews. During the time that he hosted “Larry King Live,” King was also a columnist for USA Today. He held this position for more than 20 years.
When he was at the height of his popularity, millions of people tuned in to see “Larry King Live” on CNN. King has received many accolades over his career, including 10 Cable ACE Awards, two Peabody Awards, and a Golden Mike Award.
During his time at CNN, King had a number of famous people fill in for him, including comic Kathy Griffin, writer and news anchor Dan Rather, and Kermit the Frog. King made the announcement that he will be leaving his role as a nightly host on June 29, 2010, after serving in that capacity for the previous quarter of a century.
Piers Morgan, a well-known journalist and TV personality from the United Kingdom, has been tapped to succeed King. On December 16, 2010, the last ever broadcast of “Larry King Live” aired on television.
In March of 2012, King helped to establish the production firm Ora TV, where he later became the anchor of the show “Larry King Now.” Hulu and RT America are the only distributors of the program at this time.
In addition, King is the host of the political chat show “Politicking with Larry King,” which airs on Thursday nights. King stated in 2017 that he has absolutely no plans to ever retire and that he anticipates continuing to host his talk show programs until the day he passes away.
King has been in a number of movies and television shows, including Ghostbusters, Shrek 2, and 30 Rock, among others. In the 2016 film “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” King also portrayed himself in the lead role.
On Ora TV in 2012, he moderated the debate between candidates for the third-party presidential nomination. In October of 2011, he served as the moderator for the sixth Kazenergy Eurasian Forum that was held in Kazakhstan.
Larry King served as host of the informational television series “In View with Larry King” from 2012 to 2013. On his highly active Twitter account, King frequently shares his observations and opinions on a wide range of topics. In addition, King produces a variety of advertisements on television.
King’s personal life has possibly attracted almost as much attention as his successful program has. He is a father to five children despite having been married eight times.
At the age of 19, he wed his high school love Freda Miller, but the marriage was declared null and void the next year. He tied the knot with Playboy Bunny Alene Akins not once, but twice! In 1962 and 1963, they were married for the first time, but it only lasted a year.
After getting back together and getting married again in 1969, they divorced for a second time in 1972. His most recent marriage, which he entered into in 1997 with Shawn Southwick, lasted until 2019, when he filed for divorce.
In addition to that, Larry has had to deal with a myriad of health problems, the majority of them are associated with his heart. In 1987, he experienced his first serious heart attack, which resulted in the need for a quintuple bypass operation.
After that, he established the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which offers financial assistance to individuals who, due to financial hardships, are unable to pay for potentially life-saving cardiac operations or procedures. He suffered a heart attack as recently as April of this year.
In November of that same year, he disclosed that he had also experienced a stroke, which had placed him in a coma for a period of several weeks. Following his stroke, he struggled with thoughts of ending his own life.
It was announced in August of the year 2020 that two of King’s children, Andy King and Chaia King, had passed away within a short period of time of each other.
King had a residence in Beverly Hills, and he was frequently spotted in the Dodgers’ dugout behind the plate during games.
Larry King was an American journalist who worked in radio and television. At the time of his passing, his net worth was estimated to be $50 million, and he earned an annual income of $5 million. His most famous role was as the host of the show “Larry King Live,” which aired on CNN. Larry King passed away on January 23, 2021, when he was 87 years old.