As the former host of CNN’s Larry King Live, the first worldwide phone-in TV talk show, Larry King has been a mainstay in network broadcasting for over 50 years. After bidding farewell to the show in fall of 2010, just after its 25th anniversary, the Emmy Award-winning host remains the man responsible for one of CNN’s highest-rated programs.
Dubbed “the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever” by TV Guide and “master of the mike” by Time magazine, King examined his own incredible life in the public eye with the tremendously entertaining My Remarkable Journey, offering insights into his job and sharing anecdotes about the events and the people whom he has met over his lengthy career. He recently returned to the anchor’s seat with the made-for-web Larry King Now on Hulu.com, which debuted in July 2012. Not ready to retire, King says “There’s nothing like daily television.”
Larry King Live debuted on CNN in 1985, featuring its now-famous mix of celebrity interviews, political debates, and topical discussions. When King made the transition from his successful national radio talk show to cable, he helped define the future of cable news programming and CNN. The program features phone calls and emails from viewers around the world. King then created the first daily radio/TV talk show by simulcasting CNN’s Larry King Live on Mutual/Westwood One radio stations nationwide.
King has done more than 50,000 interviews throughout his half century in broadcasting, including exclusive sit-downs with every US president since Gerald Ford. King’s famed NAFTA debate between then-Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot smashed cable industry ratings records and obtained the highest rating in CNN history – reaching more than 16.3 million viewers. King showcased his extraordinary skill in the international arena when he hosted a historic hour on the Middle East Peace process with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan, and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
After Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast in 2005, Larry King Live broadcast for 20 consecutive nights. His post-disaster programming included interviews with more than 250 guests and a live three-hour network special, How You Can Help. During the 2003 Iraq invasion, King hosted live shows for 29 consecutive nights. After the 9/11 attacks, King interviewed more than 700 guests, including more than 35 world leaders and dignitaries. In 2000, King’s 37 consecutive days of political coverage during the election recount in Florida featured 348 guests, including George W. and Laura Bush and Al and Tipper Gore.
Described as the “Muhammad Ali of the broadcast interview,” King has been inducted into five of the nation’s leading broadcasting halls of fame and is the recipient of the prestigious Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism. Both his radio and television shows have won the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. King has won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview/Interviewer and 10 CableACE awards for Best Interviewer and for best Talk Show Series. King won the prestigious Gracie Allen Award twice by American Women in Radio and Television for his interviews with Melanie Bloom, widow of NBC’s David Bloom, and Nellie Connally, a former Texas first lady. Larry King Live was also awarded the Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States for Outstanding Talk Show. King received two New York Festival Awards for his 9/11 coverage and for his interview with Sir Paul McCartney.
Additionally, King was selected to be an Olympic Torch bearer for the 2002 Winter Games and received the Unity Award for excellence in public affairs and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Public Service Award. He was also crowned Bacchus XXXIII at the 2001 Mardi Gras in New Orleans and was presented the key to the city. He is the recipient of Harvard University’s Mahoney Award for increasing public awareness about neuroscience and the March of Dimes’ Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for his efforts on behalf of community volunteerism.
In celebration of his 40th anniversary in the broadcasting industry, Hollywood honored King with a star on the Walk of Fame for his life’s work. Promax/BDA awarded Larry with their Television Century Award and the Los Angeles Press Club honored him with its President’s Award. The American Academy of Achievement honored him with the Golden Plate Award for his life’s work in the broadcasting industry. He received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University and the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts named King Talk Show Host of the Year. In 2011, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. He has received honorary degrees from George Washington University, the New England Institute of Technology, Brooklyn College, and the Pratt Institute.
Entertainment Tonight called him the “master interviewer,” and King has made cameo appearances in more than 20 movies, including Ghostbusters, Primary Colors, America’s Sweethearts, Shrek 2, and the 2004 reimagining of The Stepford Wives. King has appeared in television series including Law and Order, Boston Legal, The Practice, Arli$$, Murphy Brown, and Frasier.
Before broadcasting to an international audience, King was a popular media personality in Miami where he hosted interview programs for WIOD-Radio and WTVJ-TV. From 1978-1994, King’s voice was heard by millions of radio listeners on Mutual Radio’s “The Larry King Show.”
In addition to his broadcast credits, King founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars and provided life-saving cardiac procedures for needy children and adults. King also established a $1 million journalism scholarship at George Washington University’s School of Media and Affairs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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