Larry King—one of the most influential talk show host in TV and radio history—has died at 87 years old. King was hospitalized with COVID-19 over the holidays.
Ora Media, the media company co-founded by King, announced the news on January 23. “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,” the statement read. “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.”
According to TMZ, King has conducted over 30,000 interviews during his career, including the likes of President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Prince, and more. “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,” the statement continued. “He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”
Ora Media noted that the interviews conducted over the course of King’s career “remain part of the historical record of the late 20th and early 21st century.”
Before being diagnosed with COVID-19, King had several heart attacks and underwent a quintuple bypass surgery heart attacks in 1987. He went on to establish the Larry King Cardiac Foundation for uninsured patients. King also survived lung cancer in 2017.
Larry King has been married eight times and is survived by five children; Cannon, Chance, Danny, Kelly, and Larry Jr. King recently suffered the loss of two children, Andy and Chaia, within weeks of each other. “Losing them feels so out of order. No parent should have to bury a child,” he wrote on Instagram in August 2020.
Online, fans are sharing their favorite Larry King moments—from the hilarious to the heartfelt.
RIP, Larry King.