Larry King (Lawrence Harvey Zeiger)
Born: November 19, 1933, Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Television and Radio Personality
Marital Status: Freda Miller (Anulled), Annette Kaye (Divorced), Alene Akins (Divorced), Mary Francis (Divorced), Sharon Lepore (Divorced), Julie Alexander (Divorced), Married to Shawn Shouthwick
Children: Larry King Jr., Andrew King, Chaia King, Chance Armstorng King, Cannon Edward King
Education: Lafayette High School
“Those who have succeeded at anything and don’t mention luck are kidding themselves.”
For 25 years, Larry King was the link that connected world leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and any other significant pop culture figure you could think of. He was the one that gave them a platform to express themselves, and they opened up to him in turn. If you were a guest of Larry King’s, you were someone of note. He represented a level every significant figure wanted to reach.
Larry King dreamed of a career in radio from an early age. King moved to Florida to pursue his dreams on the advice of a CBS television announcer. At the time, Florida was still a growing media market, and was hiring inexperienced broadcasters. The announcer’s advice proved true; the radio station WAHR in Miami hired King. Although the job was mainly in custodial/support in nature, King soon took over the 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. shift on the station when he covered for a fellow employee.
After adapting “King” as new last name, he premiered his first program on Miami television in 1960. King also took a newswriting column in the Miami Herald and Miami News. It was during this time that King met Jackie Gleason. Gleason was a teacher and mentor to King.
Unfortunately in 1971, King’s career would hit a setback when he was charged with grand larceny by a former business partner. He immediately lost his job as a broadcaster. While he was eventually acquitted of all charges, he was publicly disgraced. He worked in West Coast radio for the next several years, rebuilding his career.
King’s luck would turnaround in the late 1970’s. The incident and the negative publicity stemming from it had more or less blown over, and King was able to get his job back WIOD in 1978. He started a nightly coast-to-coast talk show, The Larry King Show, on the Mutual Radio Network. The show was very successful, and spread to over 500 affiliate stations.
The success of the show caught the attention of billionaire media mogul Ted Turner. Turner hired King to host his own show on the then-growing CNN. Larry King Live was the first international TV call-in show. It would go on to become the highest-rated talk show on air. An appearance on Larry King Live became a necessity for any significant figure in culture.
Although King stepped down from Larry King Live on December 16, 2010, he became the host of the web series, Larry King Now. The show celebrated its 100th episode on January 16, 2013.
Featured Image Courtesy of Gawker