Larry King: A Profile

A profile of the Legend of Larry King


Larry King, the longtime CNN host, passed away on January 23rd. He became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers. He hosted his show, “Larry King Life”, for over 25 years. He hosted presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars, and everyday people. He retired in 2010 after taping for 6,000 episodes. Let’s take a look back at his life and the impact he has had on society today.

According to Wikipedia, King was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on November 19, 1933. King attended Lafayette High School, a public high school in Brooklyn. King’s father died of a heart attack when King was nine years old. King was greatly affected by his father’s death, as they were very close. After he graduated high school, King worked to help support his mother. 

From an early age, he wanted to work in radio broadcasting. He was recommended to go to Florida by a CBS staff announcer, as Florida was a media market with openings for inexperienced broadcasters. He went to Miami and he got his first job at WAHR, now WMBM. They hired him to clean up and miscellaneous tasks. When one of the station’s announcers quit, King was put on the air. He worked as a disc jockey from 9 a.m. to noon. He also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. He was paid $50 a week. 

Larry King Live began on CNN in June 1985. He interviewed countless people, including presidents, movie stars, and world-class athletes. He became a giant among the most prominent interviewers on television. With an easygoing demeanor that distinguished him from other, more intense interviewers. He perfected a casual approach to the Q&A format. For that quarter of a century, King hosted “Larry King Life” on CNN, where more than 30,000 interviews, including every sitting president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama, and thousands of phone calls from viewers. 

According to CNN, King was known for not spending time preparing for interviews. He preferred to let his natural curiosity guide the conversation, Wendy Walker, his longtime executive producer on the show said. “The one thing he loved was being in front of that camera,” she said. “He was a very interesting man but that one hour a day, when those lights came on, he was just perfect. He treated every guest the same. It didn’t matter if it was a president or somebody just off the street.”

The effect that King had on social media changed the way that we see broadcast journalism forever. He revolutionized interviews as we know them today and his casual persona will be remembered by fans everywhere.