|Occupation:||TV Show Host|
|Birth Day:||November 19, 1933|
|Birth Place:||Brooklyn, United States|
TV and radio interviewer, author, and columnist who gained widespread interest for Larry King Live.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Larry King changed his last name from Zeiger to King because his boss at the time felt that Zeiger was too ethnic.
King has been married eight times, to seven women. He married high-school sweetheart Freda Miller in 1952 at age 19. That union ended the following year at the behest of their parents, who reportedly had the marriage annulled. King was later briefly married to Annette Kaye, who gave birth to his son, Larry Jr., in November 1961. King did not meet Larry Jr. until the latter was in his thirties.
A CBS staff announcer, whom King met by chance, suggested he go to Florida which was a growing media market with openings for inexperienced broadcasters. King went to Miami, and after initial setbacks, he gained his first job in radio. The manager of a small station, WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach, hired him to clean up and perform miscellaneous tasks. When one of the station's announcers abruptly quit, King was put on the air. His first broadcast was on May 1, 1957, working as the disc jockey from 9 a.m. to noon. He also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. He was paid $50 a week.
King's Miami radio show brought him local attention. A few years later, in May 1960, he hosted Miami Undercover, airing Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. on WPST-TV Channel 10 (now WPLG). On the show, he moderated debates on important local issues of the day.
In 1961, King married his third wife, Alene Akins, a Playboy Bunny, at one of the magazine's eponymous nightclubs. King adopted Alene's son Andy in 1962; the couple divorced the following year. In 1963, King married his fourth wife, Mary Francis "Mickey" Stuphin, who divorced King. He remarried Akins, with whom he had a second child, Chaia, in 1969. The couple divorced a second time in 1972. In 1997, Dove Books published a book written by King and Chaia, Daddy Day, Daughter Day. Aimed at young children, it tells each of their accounts of his divorce from Akins.
On September 25, 1976, King married his fifth wife, mathematics teacher and production assistant Sharon Lepore. The couple divorced in 1983.
On January 30, 1978, King went national on a nightly Mutual Broadcasting System coast-to-coast broadcast, inheriting the talk show slot that had begun with Herb Jepko in 1975, then followed by "Long John" Nebel in 1977, until his illness and death the following year. King's Mutual show rapidly developed a devoted audience.
King also wrote a regular newspaper column in USA Today for almost 20 years, from shortly after that first national newspaper's debut in Baltimore-Washington in 1982 until September 2001. The column consisted of short "plugs, superlatives and dropped names" but was dropped when the newspaper redesigned its "Life" section. The column was resurrected in blog form in November 2008 and on Twitter in April 2009.
The Larry King Live CNN show began in June 1985 in which King hosted a broad range of guests from controversial figures of UFO conspiracy theories and alleged psychics, to prominent politicians and leading figures in the entertainment industry, often doing their first or only interview on breaking news stories on his show. After doing his CNN show from 9 to 10 p.m., King then traveled to the studios of the Mutual Broadcasting System to do his radio show, when both shows still aired.
After his 1987 heart attack, King founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which paid for life-saving cardiac procedures for people who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
On February 24, 1987, King suffered a major heart attack and then had successful quintuple-bypass surgery. Since then, King has written two books about living with heart disease. Mr. King, You're Having a Heart Attack: How a Heart Attack and Bypass Surgery Changed My Life (1989, ISBN 0-440-50039-7) was written with New York's Newsday science editor B. D. Colen. Taking On Heart Disease: Famous Personalities Recall How They Triumphed over the Nation's #1 Killer and How You Can, Too (2004, ISBN 1-57954-820-2) features the experience of various celebrities with cardiovascular disease including Peggy Fleming and Regis Philbin.
King met businesswoman Julie Alexander in 1989, and proposed to her on the couple's first date on August 1, 1989. Alexander became King's sixth wife on October 7, 1989, when the two were married in Washington, D.C. The couple lived in different cities, however, with Alexander in Philadelphia, and King in Washington, D.C., where he worked. They separated in 1990 and divorced in 1992. He became engaged to actress Deanna Lund in 1995, after five weeks of dating, but they remained unmarried.
In 1989, King was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, and in 1996 to the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame. In 2002, the industry publication Talkers Magazine named King both the fourth-greatest radio talk show host of all time and the top television talk show host of all time.
On September 10, 1990, while on The Joan Rivers Show, Rivers asked King which contestant in the Miss America pageant was "the ugliest." King responded, "Miss Pennsylvania. She was one of the 10 finalists and she did a great ventriloquist bit ... The dummy was prettier." King was a judge for the September 8, 1990 pageant. King later sent Miss Pennsylvania, Marla Wynne, a dozen long-stemmed roses and a telegram apologizing for his remarks.
Some of King's regular callers used pseudonyms or were given nicknames by King, such as "The Numbers Guy", "The Chair", "The Portland Laugher," "The Miami Derelict," and "The Scandal Scooper". The show was successful, starting with relatively few affiliates and eventually growing to more than 500. King hosted the show until stepping down in 1994. King occasionally entertained the audience by telling amusing stories from his youth or early broadcasting career.
In 1994, King received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University. In June 1998, he received an honorary degree from Brooklyn College, City University of New York, for his life achievements.
King credits his success on local television to the assistance of comedian Jackie Gleason, whose national television variety show was being taped in Miami Beach during this time. "That show really took off because Gleason came to Miami," King said in a 1996 interview he gave when inducted into the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame. "He did that show and stayed all night with me. We stayed till five in the morning. He didn't like the set, so we broke into the general manager's office and changed the set. Gleason changed the set, he changed the lighting, and he became like a mentor of mine."
In 1997, King was one of 34 celebrities to sign an open letter to then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, published as a newspaper advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which protested the treatment of Scientologists in Germany, comparing it to the Nazis' oppression of Jews in the 1930s. Other signatories included Dustin Hoffman and Goldie Hawn.
In 1997, he married his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick, born in 1959 (as Shawn Ora Engemann), a singer, actress, and TV host. They wed in King's Los Angeles hospital room three days before King underwent heart surgery to clear a clogged blood vessel. The couple have two children: Chance, born March 1999, and Cannon, born May 2000, both graduates of Beverly Hills High School. He is stepfather to Arena Football League quarterback Danny Southwick. On King and Southwick's 10th anniversary in September 2007, Southwick joked she was "the only [wife] to have lasted into the two digits". Larry and Shawn King filed for divorce in 2010 but reconciled, and filed for divorce again on August 20, 2019.
For its final year, the show was moved to afternoons. After King stepped down, Mutual gave the afternoon slot to David Brenner and Mutual's affiliates were given the option of carrying the audio of King's new CNN evening television program. After Westwood One dissolved Mutual in 1999, the radio simulcast of the CNN show continued until December 31, 2009.
In 2003, King was named as recipient of the Snuffed Candle Award by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's Council for Media Integrity. King received this award for '"encouraging credulity (and) presenting pseudoscience as genuine'".
King is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills. He is also a recipient of the President's Award honoring his impact on media from the Los Angeles Press Club in 2006.
He was given the Golden Mike Award for Lifetime Achievement in January 2008, by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.
In July 2009 and again on February 2014, King appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien and on Conan respectively, where he told O'Brien about his wishes to be cryonically preserved upon death, as he had revealed in his book My Remarkable Journey. In December 2011, preceding a CNN Special on the topic, the Kings had a special dinner with friends Conan O'Brien, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O'Neal, Seth MacFarlane, Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones, and Russell Brand where his intent to do so was reiterated, among other topics that were discussed.
On June 29, 2010, King announced that after 25 years, he would be stepping down from his nightly job hosting Larry King Live. However, he stated that he would remain with CNN to host occasional specials. The announcement came in the wake of speculation that CNN had approached Piers Morgan, the British television personality and journalist, as King's primetime replacement, which was confirmed that September.
The final edition of Larry King Live aired on December 16, 2010, after a quarter-century. The show concluded with his last thoughts and a thank you to his audience for watching and supporting him over the years. The concluding words of Larry King on the show were, "I... I, I don't know what to say except to you, my audience, thank you. And instead of goodbye, how about so long."
On August 30, 2010, King served as the host of Chabad's 30th annual "To Life" telethon, in Los Angeles.
Larry King remains active as a writer and television personality. King was the moderator of the sixth Kazenergy Eurasian Forum in Astana, Kazakhstan, an annual forum for Kazakhstan's energy sector occurring in October 2011.
Since 2011, he has also made various TV infomercials, often appearing as a "host" discussing products like Omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplement OmegaXL with guests, in an interview style reminiscent of his past TV programs.
On February 17, 2012, CNN announced that he would no longer host specials.
In March 2012, King co-founded Ora TV, a production company, with Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim. On January 16, 2013, Ora TV celebrated their 100th episode of Larry King Now. In September 2017, King stated that he had no intention of ever retiring and expects to host his programs until he dies.
Ora TV signed a multi-year deal with Hulu to exclusively carry King's new talk-oriented web series, Larry King Now, beginning July 17. On October 23, 2012, King hosted the third-party presidential debate on Ora TV, featuring Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode, and Gary Johnson.
In May 2013, the Russian owned RT America network announced that they struck a deal with Ora TV to host the Larry King Now show on its network. King said in an advertisement on RT America: "I would rather ask questions to people in positions of power, instead of speaking on their behalf." The show continued to be available on Hulu.com and Ora.TV. The following month, RT America began airing Larry King's new Thursday evening political talk show Politicking with Larry King, beginning with a discussion between Representative Aaron Schock (R, Illinois), Democratic Political Strategist Peter Fenn and Politico's Deputy Managing Editor Rachel Smolkin about Edward Snowden's leak scandal that revealed secret NSA surveillance programs.
When criticized for doing business with a Russian-owned TV network in 2014, King responded, "I don't work for RT", commenting that his podcasts, Larry King Now and Politicking, are licensed for a fee to RT America by New York-based Ora TV. "It’s a deal made between the companies ... They just license our shows. If they took something out, I would never do it. It would be bad if they tried to edit out things. I wouldn’t put up with it."
King related his heart attack experience in a film interview in the 2014 British documentary film The Widowmaker which discusses cardiology diagnostic tests.
On April 23, 2019, King underwent a scheduled angioplasty and also had stents inserted. It was erroneously reported that he had suffered another heart attack along with heart failure; these claims were later retracted. He returned to Politicking with Larry King on August 15, 2019.
On November 27, 2019, King revealed he had suffered a stroke in March 2019, and was in a coma “for weeks”. He later admitted he had contemplated suicide following the stroke, telling Los Angeles television station KTLA, "I thought I was just going to bite the bullet. I didn't want to live this way."
In 2020, it was reported that King had unwittingly been duped into filming a purported interview that was in fact part of a Chinese propaganda campaign against Guo Wengui, a Chinese dissident in New York City whom the Chinese government seeks to have deported. In 2019, King was asked by Jacobi Niv, a friend who had in the past arranged for King to film various infomercials and promotional videos to film what King was told would be a conference video. Niv gave King a list of scripted questions to read. These were later edited into a video of comments by Russian journalist Anastasia Dolgova on the topic of Guo Wengui, whom Dolgova alleged had committed a number of crimes. The video was edited to give the appearance of King and Dolgova having a live conversation; however, the questions and answers were recorded separately and King, reading a script, was unaware of her responses, which repeated the line of the Chinese government on the issue. Once King's own production company saw the completed video, they refused to post it online and asked that it not be released. Niv disregarded their objections and released the video independently on YouTube. King's family insisted that it be removed but once Niv took it down he found that it had been duplicated and gone viral on Twitter due to the efforts of what ProPublica alleges are Chinese government–run social media accounts. As a result of the incident, King has severed his relationship with Niv, saying he believes Niv took advantage of their friendship.
From his eight marriages, King has five children and nine grandchildren, as well as four great-grandchildren. Both of his children with Alene, Andy and Chaia, died within weeks of each other in August 2020, Andy at 65 and Chaia at 51.
Currently, Larry King is 89 years, 4 months and 12 days old. Larry King will celebrate 90th birthday on a Sunday 19th of November 2023.
Find out about Larry King birthday activities in timeline view here.