Larry King, one of the most formidable interviewers on television, passed away on Saturday at the age of 87.
King began his broadcasting career in 1957 at a Miami radio station. He moved to television in 1960 but continued his radio career with the Larry King Show from 1978 to 1994.
King became famous worldwide as the host of Larry King Live on CNN, where he conducted probing interviews of political leaders and Hollywood celebrities. The show launched in 1985 and was so successful that King became a household name around the world, known for his trademark suspenders.
He also delivered an address at the ceremony when Donald Trump — then a businessman-turned-TV host — was awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2007 (above).
The block around CNN’s Los Angeles headquarters was renamed Larry King Square in his honor in 2007. However, King left the network in 2010, and was briefly replaced by Piers Morgan.
King did not give up his broadcasting career. He co-founded a new network, Ora.TV, and launched a new talk show, Larry King Now. He also created a political talk show, Politicking with Larry King (on which this author has been a frequent guest).
Russia Today (RT America) also carries the shows; King has defended the arrangement against criticism over RT’s role as a de facto representative of the Kremlin.
King remained devoted to his shows, despite repeated bouts with illness and confinement to his home due to the coronavirus pandemic. In this author’s opinion, he remained the sharpest interviewer in the business, surpassing other hosts in his ability to ask tough, relevant questions in a polite but challenging way.
King is survived by his wife, Shawn King; their two sons, Chance and Cannon; and an adult son, Larry King Jr. Two other adult children, Andy and Chaia, passed away last year. He also has been married seven previous times.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.