Larry King: Looking Back at an Icon

Recently, broadcast peers and fans lost an idol. Larry King was a fixture in broadcast journalism, mostly known for his talk show, “Larry King Live”. King also hosted two other talk shows, “Larry King Now” and “Politicking With Larry King.” and managed to always ask the tough questions. No wonder he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989, and to the Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1996. King managed to make his career entertaining and informative. How? By keeping viewers and guests on their toes.

Larry King and President George H.W. Bush in 1992

You Think I Got Canceled?

Larry King interviewed a diverse group of figures during his lifetime. From Vladimir Putin to Beyoncé, King was open to many notable guests. Often, his unique approach to interviews stood out amongst his peers. His 2007 interview with Jerry Seinfeld did just that. When he asked if “Seinfeld” was canceled Seinfeld visibly irritated asked, “Do you know who I am?”. It made for such a moment, King’s staff laughed on live tv. On the topic of moments, no one can forget his kiss with Marlon Brando following their interview. His very first interview on CNN was Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo.

5 Minutes Early is Late!

King’s long time friend Scott Lazerson remembers when he first time meet Larry.

“As a young 26 year old “kid” I had the great fortune of meeting Sir Larry King (yes, I believe Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth should knight him!) A year later in 1997, I won the job lottery by landing the most foundational career-building opportunity of my life: I became the Executive Director of The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. From the first day when Larry said, “Scott, 5 minutes early is late”, I learned more about the art & importance of relationships that I could have ever dreamed of from Larry.”

We asked him what does he think, why was Larry King so successful?

 “Larry once said, “I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I am going to learn, I must do it by listening.” Larry’s global success was based in this. He never stopped listening and learning. He was a genius question-asker but an even more legendary listener.”

Scott Lazerson Larry King
Scott Lazerson and Larry King

“He truly cared and wanted to hear the stories-whether it was Linda Tripp telling us about her friendship with Monica Lewinsky, or Arianna Huffington telling him about her hopeful plans to launch The Huffington Post. Everyone wanted Larry’s ear.

Larry was a genius at the art of conversation as he was intensely interested in what makes people tick and never shocked by any of his discoveries. ” – Scott Lazerson

King’s Personal Life

Other than genius, Larry King also seemed invincible. His tough, Brooklyn demeanor shined through even during his health-related struggles. He went on to create his cardiac foundation in 1988, aiding those who needed treatment with limited finances. So, his sons preferring donations to the American Heart Association is fitting.

Larry King's sons pay tribute after broadcaster's death - New York Daily  News
(Courtesy of NY Daily News)

Above all else, King came across as a devoted father. Actress Holly Robinson Pette took to Twitter to reminisce. “Our boys played little league with each other for a minute,” she tweeted. “Larry was at every game.” King wouldn’t hesitate to put his job on pause for his family. He even interrupted Dave Rubin’s “Rubin Report” interview with a call from one of his sons, just to discuss baseball practice.

His Lasting Influence

Even after nearly 60 years, Larry King doesn't say no to interviews. Why?  His 'insatiable' curiosity - Los Angeles Times
(Courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

There’s a reason why Larry King’s death shocked people worldwide. Larry King was a force in journalism. He managed to have important conversations with all walks of life. More importantly, he never lost himself within his work. Instead, his personality shined through. Larry King’s name was already cemented in the industry. But now, his legendary mic gets to hang from the rafters.

Cover photo from Page Six

About author


Brianna Ormond is a senior at Rutgers University as a Journalism and Media Studies major, Political Science and Africana Studies double minor. She enjoys listening to music and binging Netflix in her spare time.
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