Legendary talk show host Larry King dies as tributes flood in

Larry King, who forged a career as one of the world's most esteemed talk show hosts, has sadly died at the age of 87.

The legendary broadcaster died on Saturday morning in a hospital in California, weeks after he was hospitalised with coronavirus.

His cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

King's media company, Ora Media, announced his death, sharing a heartfelt statement via social media, as tributes from his many fans and colleagues began to flood in.

The statement read: "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 Centre in Los Angeles."

Describing the talk show host's many accolades, the statement went on to pay tribute to King's legacy as a broadcaster over the course of his lengthy career.

It continued: "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.

"Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programmes, and himself merely an unbiased conduit between the guests and audience.

"Whether he was interviewing a US president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions.

"He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.

"Larry’s interviews from his 25-year run on CNN’s 'Larry King Live' and his Ora Media programmes 'Larry King Now' and 'Politicking with Larry King' are consistently referenced by media outlets around the world and remain part of the historical record of the late 20th and earliest 21st centuries."

Born in Brooklyn, King aspired to go into radio broadcasting from an early age, landing his first gig as a disc jockey for a small-fry Miami radio station.

Originally born Larry Zeiger, he changed his name in the 50s, choosing "King" as an alternative surname after seeing an ad placed for King's Wholesale Liquor.

Eventually, his stint on local radio earned him a TV position fronting Miami Undercover on Saturday evenings, which saw him host panel debates about important local issues of the day.

After years spent doing sports broadcasting, King went on to launch his namesake Larry King Show in 1978, quickly rising to fame as a talented talk show host.

In the decades that followed, he became CNN's biggest star, thanks to his show Larry King Live, which featured discussions with some of the brightest names in showbiz and current affairs.

2010 saw the talk show legend step down from the role, telling his longstanding audience: "I… I, I don't know what to say except to you, my audience, thank you. And instead of goodbye, how about so long."

Married eight times, King had five children and nine grandchildren, as well as four great-grandchildren.

Last summer, the King family was struck by tragedy when his son and daughter, Andy, 65, and Chaia, 52, died within weeks of one another.

Tributes from the entertainment world have been flooding in since news of King's death broke, with everyone from Piers Morgan to Kay Burley remembering his magnitude as a broadcaster.

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