Jan. 23 (UPI) — Broadcasting legend Larry King died Saturday at a hospital in Los Angeles, his production company announced. He was 87.
A statement from Ora Media didn’t give a cause of death, but he had been receiving treatment for 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 production company said.
The famed interviewer, who had Type 2 diabetes, had been hospitalized since late December, his family said earlier this month.
His career in radio, TV, newspapers and digital media lasted more than six decades and earned him induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame, an Emmy Award, two Peabody Awards and 10 Cable ACE Awards.
The native New Yorker most notably hosted Larry King Live from 1985 to 2010 on CNN, then Larry King Now from 2012 to 2020 on Hulu and RT America. He never formally retired.
King also wrote a newspaper column for USA Today and authored the books My Remarkable Journey and My Dad & Me.
He was a prolific tweeter and appeared as himself in numerous films and TV shows, including Ghostbusters, Dave, Primary Colors, Enemy of the State, America’s Sweethearts, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Murphy Brown, Spin City, The Practice, Everybody Loves Raymond, Ugly Betty, The Closer, Big Love Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Simpsons and 30 Rock.
“He coaxed, rather than challenged, and the result, while not always groundbreaking, was always interesting and smart,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, about King’s interview style.
“His dirty little secret was he was a much more intelligent guy than he let on, and a much better listener than most people in television. But he really believed that his guest was the star, and his job was to help reveal that.”
King is survived by his children Larry Jr., Chance and Cannon. Two of his children, Andy and Chaia, died in 2020.
King filed for divorce from Shawn, his seventh spouse, in August 2019 after about 22 years of marriage.
King suffered several heart attacks and underwent quintuple bypass surgery in 1987.
He said in 2017 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it.
He also had a near-fatal stroke in March 2019.
Funeral arrangements and a memorial service were being planned by the family.