The prominent US journalist, Larry King, passed away, on Sunday, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to his production company, Ora Media. He was 87.
The Spokesperson for King’s family said that he had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), but received supplemental oxygen and had been moved out of intensive care. His son, Chance Armstrong, also confirmed King’s death, CNN reported.
A longtime nationally syndicated radio host from 1985 to 2010, he was a nightly fixture on CNN, with whom he won many honors, including two Peabody Awards.
With his celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussions, King was not just an enduring on-air personality. He also set himself apart with the curiosity he brought to every interview, whether questioning the assault victim known as the Central Park jogger or billionaire industrialist Ross Perot, who in 1992 rocked the presidential contest by announcing his candidacy on King’s show.
Celebrities and interview subjects, from Bill Clinton to Oprah Winfrey, mourned King’s loss. His broadcast interviews with world leaders, film stars, and ordinary people helped define American conversation for a half-century.
On social media, King was remembered by a number of figures and fans, including singers Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler, entertainer 50 Cent and actors Reese Witherspoon, George Takei, and Albert Brooks.
“My friend Larry King has died”, news commentator Keith Olbermann wrote on Twitter. “It is literally true that thousands of us can make that sad statement this morning. While he was easily caricatured, I’ve never known anybody who made a bigger deal out of the slightest kindness afforded him.”
Former US President Bill Clinton wrote on Twitter, “I enjoyed my 20+ interviews with Larry King over the years. He had a great sense of humor and a genuine interest in people. He gave a direct line to the American people and worked hard to get the truth for them, with questions that were direct but fair. Farewell, my friend.”
“It was always a treat to sit at your table. And hear your stories. Thank you Larry King,” Oprah Winfrey tweeted.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted. “Larry King was a Brooklyn boy who became a newsman who interviewed the newsmakers.
He conducted over 50,000 interviews that informed Americans in a clear and plain way.”
“I’m sad to learn about Larry King’s passing. He was such a kind gentleman, and he made all of us feel as though we were speaking with a lifelong friend. There will never be anyone like him, and he will be missed by many. My sincerest condolences to his family & friends” singer Celine Dion wrote on Twitter.
“R.I.P. Larry King. I loved his all night radio show in the 80’s. You could call in at 1 in the morning and just riff for hours. His radio show made a great opening for ‘Lost In America’. Rest easy Larry,” actor Albert Brooks tweeted.
“Larry King was my @CNN colleague and good friend. He was an amazing interviewer and a mentor to so many of us. He loved what he did and all of us loved him. He was a real mensch. My Deepest Condolences to his loving family. May He Rest In Peace and May His Memory Be A Blessing,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tweeted.
King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews. In 1995, he presided over a Middle East peace summit with Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairperson Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan, and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He welcomed everyone from the Dalai Lama to Elizabeth Taylor, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Barack Obama, Bill Gates to Lady Gaga.
Especially after his relocation to Los Angeles, his shows were frequently in the thick of breaking celebrity news. This included Paris Hilton talking about her stint in jail in 2007, and Michael Jackson’s friends and family members talking about his death in 2009.