(Los Angeles) Famous American interviewer Larry King passed away on Saturday at the age of 87.
Mr. King died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, announced Ora Media, the network he co-founded. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
A longtime radio host, he hosted talks every night of the week on CNN for 25 years. He has been recognized many times, including receiving two Peabody Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in the fields of television and broadcast journalism and documentary.
Larry King stood out for the curiosity he showed to each of his guests, whether they were the victim of an assault in Central Park or billionaire Ross Perot, who had announced his candidacy for the election. US presidential election from 1992 to its broadcast.
Some personalities interviewed by Larry King
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Larry King and billionaire Ross Perot in July 1992
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Larry King and former boxing champion Mike Tyson in August 1995
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Larry King and Donald Trump in October 1999
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Larry King and former United States President George Bush when he was Republican presidential candidate and governor of Texas in December 1999
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Larry King and singer Madonna in January 1999
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Larry King with then President and Vice President of the United States Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the White House, June 1995
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Larry King and Uggie the dog from the movie The Artist in May 2012
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Larry King and former President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez in September 2009
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Larry King laughs at comedian Jerry Lewis in August 1999
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Larry King in remote interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in November 2010
He has conducted approximately 50,000 on-air interviews. In 1995, he chaired a Middle East peace summit with PLO President Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Personalities were welcome on his show: from the Dalai Lama to Elizabeth Taylor, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Barack Obama, from Bill Gates to Lady Gaga.
He also invited Quebec singer Céline Dion. In an interview on the show, she expressed outrage at the poverty of the Bush administration’s aid to the hurricane victims Katrina in 2005. “Maybe I don’t think with my reason, but I speak with my heart,” she had said, repressing her sobs with difficulty. Is there no one who can break down a roof? Helicopters only take two people at a time. Take a kayak if you have to. ”
His broadcasts could be very revealing. Paris Hilton had told about her stay in prison in 2007. Relatives of Michael Jackson had come to talk about his death in 2009.
Larry King prided himself on never preparing too much for an interview. His non-confrontational style relaxed his guests and made him easily accessible to his audience.
I don’t claim to know everything. I don’t ask my guests what he thinks of Geneva or Cuba. I ask the president what he doesn’t like about this job or what is his biggest mistake. It’s fascinating.
Larry King interviewed with the Associated Press in 1995
Larry King reflected well the then neutrality of CNN, the only news channel of that time. Politicians, people at the heart of a controversy wanted to be invited to his show.
He managed to receive guests who weren’t always looking for the limelight. So was Frank Sinatra, who rarely granted interviews and often criticized journalists. He had spoken to Larry King – a friend – in 1988. It was his last appearance on television.
” Why are you here ? », Asked the host in the bow tie. “Because you asked me to come and I haven’t seen you for a long time. I thought we could get together and talk about a lot of things, ”Sinatra replied.
Larry King had never met Marlon Brando when the actor asked to be received as a guest in 1994. The two got on so well that they ended their 90 minute conversation with a song and a kiss. on the mouth, an image which circled the globe.
A week after a gala celebrating the 25e anniversary of the show, in June 2010, Larry King took viewers by surprise by announcing his retirement. “It’s time to hang up my suspenders,” he said.
At the height of his popularity in 1998, Larry King attracted 1.64 million viewers.
A bottom to the top of the ladder
Larry King, real name Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, was born in 1933, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who ran a bar and restaurant in Brooklyn.
He has set his sights on the radio. He started his career at a small Miami resort at the bottom of the ladder. He got a first chance when asked to replace a host who had suddenly left the station. The director gave him a new name because he felt that Zeiger was “too Jewish”.
A year later, a larger station recruited him. He was the host of a daily interview show broadcast from a local restaurant.
After crossing the desert, Larry King was hired in 1978 to host the first nationwide radio show. The Larry King Show was eventually broadcast on over 300 stations, turning the host into a national phenomenon.
A few years later, CNN founder Ted Turner hired him. The show Larry King Live was launched on 1er June 1985. The show became the most popular of the young channel. Larry King’s initial salary of $ 100,000 per year eventually rose to over $ 7 million.
He has suffered from numerous health problems over the past decades. He suffered several heart attacks. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and lung cancer.
Despite these setbacks, he continued to work despite his old age, hosting talk shows and infomercials.
“Work,” he has already said. It’s the simplest thing I know ”.