63 Facts About Larry King


Larry King studied at Lafayette High School, a public high school in Brooklyn.


Larry King was a WMBM radio interviewer in the Miami area in the 1950s and 1960s, and gained prominence in 1978 as host of The Larry King Show, an all-night nationwide call-in radio program heard on the Mutual Broadcasting System.


Larry King hosted Politicking with Larry King, a weekly political talk show, on the same three channels from 2013 to 2020.


Larry King appeared in television series and films, usually playing himself.


Larry King remained active until his death in 2021, from complications of COVID-19 and sepsis, at the age of 87.


Larry King was one of two children of Jennie, a garment worker who was born in Minsk, Russian Empire, and Aaron Zeiger, a restaurant owner and defense-plant worker who was born in Pinsk, Russian Empire.


Larry King's parents were Orthodox Jews who immigrated to the United States from Belarus in the 1930s.


Larry King attended Lafayette High School, a public high school in Brooklyn.


When Larry King was nine years old, his father died of a heart attack.


Larry King was greatly affected by his father's death, and subsequently lost interest in his schoolwork.


Larry King went to Miami, and after initial setbacks, he gained his first job in radio.


When one of the station's announcers abruptly quit, Larry King was put on the air.


Larry King acquired the name Larry King when the general manager declared that Zeiger was too difficult to remember, so minutes before airtime, Larry chose the surname "King", which he got from an advertisement in the Miami Herald for King's Wholesale Liquor.


Larry King began to conduct interviews on a mid-morning show for WIOD, at Pumpernik's Restaurant in Miami Beach.


Two days later, singer Bobby Darin, in Miami for a concert that evening, walked into Pumpernik's having heard Larry King's radio show; Darin became Larry King's first celebrity interview guest.


Larry King credited his success on local television to the assistance of comedian Jackie Gleason, whose national television variety show was being taped in Miami Beach beginning in 1964.


Larry King lost his weekly column at the Miami Beach Sun newspaper.


For several years during the 1970s, he hosted a sports talk-show called "Sports-a-la-Larry King" that featured guests and callers.


On January 30,1978, Larry King began broadcasting a nightly coast-to-coast program on the Mutual Broadcasting System, 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.


Larry King's Mutual show rapidly developed a devoted audience, called "Larry King-aholics".


Larry King occasionally entertained the audience by telling amusing stories from his youth or early broadcasting career.


Larry King said that when interviewing authors, he did not read their books in advance, so that he would not know more than his audience.


CNN's Larry King Live became "the longest-running television show hosted by the same person, on the same network and in the same time slot", and was recognized for it by the Guinness Book of World Records.


Larry King retired in 2010 after taping 6,000 episodes of the show.


On June 29,2010, Larry King announced that after 25 years, he would be stepping down as the show's host.


The final edition of Larry King Live aired on December 16,2010.


In March 2012, Larry King co-founded Ora TV, a production company, with his then-wife Shawn Southwick-Larry King and Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim.


In September 2017, Larry King stated that he had no intention of ever retiring and expected to host his programs until he died.


On October 23,2012, Larry 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.


Larry King remained active as a writer and television personality thereafter.


Larry King guest starred in episodes of Arthur, 30 Rock and Gravity Falls, had cameos in Ghostbusters and Bee Movie, and voiced Doris the Ugly Stepsister in Shrek 2 and its sequels.


Larry King played himself in The People v O J Simpson: American Crime Story and appeared as himself in an episode of Law and Order: Trial by Jury.


Larry King became a very active user on the social-networking site Twitter, where he posted thoughts and commented on a wide variety of subjects.


ProPublica reported that in 2019 Larry King had been manipulated into starring in a fake interview with a Russian journalist containing disinformation about Chinese dissident Guo Wengui, which was spread by Chinese government associated social media accounts.


Larry King married high-school sweetheart Freda Miller in 1952 at age 19.


Larry King was later briefly married to Annette Kaye, who gave birth to his son, Larry Jr.


In 1961, Larry King married his third wife, Playboy Bunny Alene Akins, at one of the magazine's eponymous nightclubs.


Larry King adopted Akins' son Andy in 1962; the couple divorced the following year.


Larry King remarried Akins in 1969, and had second child, Chaia.


On September 25,1976, Larry King married fifth wife, mathematics teacher and production assistant Sharon Lepore.


Larry King met businesswoman Julie Alexander in 1989, and proposed to her on the couple's first date on August 1,1989.


Larry King became engaged to actress Deanna Lund in 1995, after five weeks of dating, but they remained unmarried.


Larry King was stepfather to Arena Football League quarterback Danny Southwick.


Larry and Shawn King filed for divorce in 2010 but reconciled, and filed for divorce again on August 20,2019.


From his seven wives, Larry King had five children and nine grandchildren, as well as four great-grandchildren.


Larry King was previously part of an investment group that attempted to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Buffalo, New York, in 1990.


In 2009,2011, and several times in 2015, Larry King said that he would like to be cryonically suspended.


Larry King discussed the issue with his family two years before his death, and "after much consideration," he decided that he did not want to undergo the procedure.


On February 24,1987, Larry King had a major heart attack before a successful quintuple-bypass surgery.


Larry King quit smoking after the heart attack, having smoked three packs of cigarettes a day until then.


Larry King related his heart attack experience in an interview in the 2014 British documentary film The Widowmaker, which advocates for coronary calcium scanning to motivate preventive cardiology and highlights the financial conflicts of interest in the widespread use of coronary stents.


Larry King received annual chest X-rays to monitor his heart condition.


On January 2,2021, it was revealed that Larry King had been hospitalized with COVID-19 ten days earlier in a Los Angeles hospital.


Larry King won the Peabody Award for Excellence in broadcasting for both his radio and television shows.


Larry King won ten CableACE Awards for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series.


In 1989, Larry King was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, and in 1996 to the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame.


In 1994, Larry King received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University.


Larry King was an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills.


Larry King was a recipient of the President's Award honoring his impact on media from the Los Angeles Press Club in 2006.


Larry King was the first recipient of the Arizona State University Hugh Downs Award for Communication Excellence, presented April 11,2007, via satellite by Downs himself.


Larry King was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Bradley University; for which he said "is really a hoot".


Larry King received numerous honorary degrees from George Washington University, the Columbia School of Medicine, Brooklyn College, the New England Institute of Technology, and the Pratt Institute.