Larry King, the prolific interviewer of everyone from politicians to UFO “experts,” has died, according to The New York Times. He was 87 years old. The cause of death is currently unknown, although he had recently been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.
A native Brooklynite, King began his career in Florida, where he was a local radio interviewer and sportscaster. He rose to prominence in the late ’70s, when he hosted an all-night, coast-to-cast radio interview call-in show. In 1985 he started hosting his most famous program: Larry King Live, CNN’s longest-running and highest-rated show. He also had a prolific movie career, albeit almost always playing himself, starting with Ghostbusters — which predated Larry King Live by a year — and including Dave, Contact, and Bulworth.
It’s estimated King interviewed over 50,000 people over the show’s 25 years, including every president from Richard Nixon on. (It was on his show that business magnate Ross Perot announced his candidacy for the 1992 presidential election.) He was at least as fascinating as his guests, if not moreso: He was married eight times, twice to the same woman, and he was a chronic gambler who twice declared bankruptcy. What’s more, it’s claimed that he never prepared for interviews. He just asked questions.
(Via The New York Times)