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How did Larry King, 87, die? Iconic talk show host had been ailing since early January

King died on January 23 morning at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles
UPDATED JAN 23, 2021
Larry King poses for a portrait for his 86th birthday (Getty Images)
Larry King poses for a portrait for his 86th birthday (Getty Images)

On Saturday, January 23, it was reported that American television and radio host Larry King died. The multiple Peabodys, Emmy award, Cable ACE awards-winning television personality died on January 23 morning at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 87.

According to a statement shared on King’s Twitter account, “Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family, who ask for their privacy at this time.”


How did Larry King die?

At this time, no information has been released about King’s death, he had tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in January. As per reports, the veteran talk show host was suffering from Covid-19. On January 2, it had been reported that King had been hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for more than a week. In fact, King was moved to the ICU on New Year’s Eve and was receiving oxygen, said David Theall, a spokesman for Ora Media, a production company formed by King.

It was later reported that King was moved out of the intensive care unit. But he had other complications as well. As per reports, he had Type 2 diabetes. And over the years, he had confronted a series of medical issues, including several heart attacks and quintuple bypass surgery in 1987. In 2017, King revealed he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it. He also underwent a procedure in 2019 to address angina.

Larry King attends his 60th Broadcasting Anniversary Event (Getty Images)

Ora Media, in its statement wrote, “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. 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. 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. He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger on November 19, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, King desired to work in radio broadcasting from an early age. His first radio gig was not a glamorous one. He joined a small station, WAHR, in Miami Beach, cleaning up and performing odd jobs. His first big break arrived when one of the station's announcers abruptly quit and King managed to have his first broadcast was on May 1, 1957. After nearly two decades, he expanded to national broadcasting in 1978.
Over the course of six decades, King became one of America’s most recognizable media figures. At its height, his flagship CNN show, ‘Larry King Live’, which he hosted for 25 years, drew 1.5 million viewers a night. King was also a prolific interviewer.

CNN's Larry King during the election night results in 2004 (Getty Images)

“An interview is an interview. It’s basically who, what, where, when and why. And while it is certainly kind of an exalted place to sit with the Prime Minister of Great Britain or the president of a country, it’s still… ‘why do you do what you do? How do you feel about what you do? What do you think about what’s happening in the world?’ It comes down to an interviewer is an interviewer,” King said in a Television Academy interview.

King was married eight times to seven women — his final marriage, to Shawn Southwick, ended in divorce in 2019. In 2020, Two of King’s children passed away within weeks of one another. 65-year-old Andy King died on July 28, 2020, and 51-year-old Chaia King passed away on August 20, 2020. "It is with sadness and a father's broken heart that I confirm the recent loss of two of my children, Andy King, and Chaia King," he said in a statement. "Both of them were good and kind souls and they will be greatly missed."