Larry King: Legendary US TV host dead at 87 | DW | 23.01.2021

Veteran broadcaster Larry King, who made his name at CNN, has died at the age 87, the US network reported on Saturday.

No cause of death was given, but King had been in hospital in Los Angeles after testing positive for coronavirus.

The talk show host became a global household name with CNN, interviewing world leaders, politicians and celebrities between 1985 and 2010. In a career that spanned over 60 years, he won multiple accolades, including two Peabody Awards and an Emmy.

King had faced several health problems in recent years, including diabetes and heart attacks.

The journalist first rose to fame in the 1970s with his radio program The Larry King Show. He also appeared as a columnist for the USA Today newspaper.

Tributes for broadcasting giant

King’s TV show was canceled in 2010 and he was replaced by British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who on Saturday hailed King as a “hero” on social media.

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.”

Bette Midler described King as “a great interviewer and a great listener,” adding that “He always made me feel as though I were the only person in the room.”

“He was one of a kind! May he Rest In Peace. #LarryKing,” singer Barbra Streisand told her followers.

“It was always a treat to sit at your table. And hear your stories. Thank you Larry King,” Oprah Winfrey wrote on Twitter.

‘I ask the best questions I can’

After leaving CNN, King fronted shows for the Hulu on-demand service and RT, Russia’s state-controlled international broadcaster.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was also one of those who offered his condolences.

“King repeatedly interviewed Putin. The president has always appreciated his great professionalism and unquestioned journalistic authority,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by state RIA Novosti news agency.

But even in his heyday, critics said King did little research before interviews and often tossed softball questions to his guests who were free to give unchallenged self-promoting answers.

“My duty, as I see it, is I’m a conduit,” King told the Hartford Courant newspaper in 2007. “I ask the best questions I can. I listen to the answers. I try to follow up.”

“I’m not there to make a conclusion. I’m not a soapbox talk-show host. So what I try to do is present someone in the best light.”

jf/mm (AP, Reuters)

 

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Credit: Deutsche Welle

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