Larry King, the longtime CNN talk show host who became a cultural icon and something of a hero within the OUTSIDELEFT offices due in part to his interviews and razor-sharp editorials, has died. He was 87.
His son, Chance, confirmed his father’s death Saturday morning on January 23, 2021. The reasons for King’s death weren’t shared, but King fought with a number of health problems including several heart attacks, a quintuple bypass in 1987, lung cancer in 2017, angina in 2019, and he was hospitalized with Covid-19 in late December at Cedars-Sinai. In the UK, that death within 28 days of a Covid diagnosis would be considered 1 for the pandemic...
King hosted "Larry King Live" on CNN for over 25 years, interviewing presidents, artists, celebrities and pseudocelebrities, athletes, film stars, and Morrrissey, as well as regular people like you and me. King ended his broadcasting career in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of “Live.”
A statement was posted on King’s Facebook account announcing his death:
"With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles," the statement said. "For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster."
I only had one brief encounter with Larry King. It was sometime around 2007 at what I later found out was one of his favorite restaurants -- an Italian place in Santa Monica near the 3rd Street Promenade. It was late on a Wednesday night and the restaurant was empty except for Larry holding court in the back with a few other guys. King’s friends looked like retired 80-year-old mobsters. Gruff, with shaved heads and barrel chests, but easy-going and polite in their advanced age.
My party of four sat one table away from him and I could hear everything that was said. Larry, after all, he had one of the most recognisable voices in the world at that time. The thing is, not once did The King talk about his work -- no name dropping, no catty industry gossip. All he and his friends talked about was their other friends who weren’t at their table. It was peek behind the curtain; an unfiltered look at Larry King as a regular fellow who had led a very irregular life. He seemed like anyone's grandfather that night.
As Larry and his party got up to leave, thanking the manager on the way out, I nudged the person next to me.
“That’s Larry King,” I said as I nodded towards the older man getting out of his chair 10 feet away from us.
And as Larry walked by, with a surprisingly swift gait -- almost Tommy Tune-like -- he gave our table a finger point and a wink. I’m not sure if he heard me, but it was a great move, and that (as Ancient Champion says whenever an icon lives up to their rep) is charisma.
Larry King image, screen grabbed from that Morrissey interview, from Youtube.
Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]
If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]