Inside Larry King's Towering Legacy: An Intrepid Interviewer Who Just Loved to Ask Questions - E! Online

Inside Larry King's Towering Legacy: An Intrepid Interviewer Who Just Loved to Ask Questions

1/24/2021 12:03:00 AM

Inside Larry King's Towering Legacy: An Intrepid Interviewer Who Just Loved to Ask Questions

Master of the sit-down interview, broadcasting legend Larry King attributed his longevity in the business to his ceaseless curiosity and pure love of learning about people.

that he had decided to sit down with him for was what described as his first big, in-person interview in 10 years "well, because of you, really...Your reputation, your name, that's enough."Of course, that sort of endurance in the business of being on-camera doesn't come without its controversy, King's blunt manner leading to the occasional gaffe and his willingness to talk with almost anyone not always sitting well with critics who don't think everyone deserves a platform. His deal in 2013 to do a politically themed talk show,

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Politicking With Larry King, televised by RT America, the U.S. arm of Russia's government-run RT network, was also heavily criticized."I don't work for RT. It's a deal made between the companies. They just license our shows," King, who co-founded digital network Ora TV with Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2012, said of the backlash while talking to

The Daily Beastin 2014. Moreover, he insisted that the connection had never influenced the questions he asked in any way and he "wouldn't put up" with any editing of his show to make it more Moscow-friendly. "As long as...they're carrying stuff critical of them, I've got no problem with it."

Getty ImagesKing got his start in the 1950s on Miami radio, first as an errand boy and then as a 9 a.m. to noon DJ to replace another guy who'd quit. He admitted that Florida was quite the culture shock for a New Yorker such as himself,John Fugelsang

in 2017, "The first thing I saw were water fountains and one said colored and one said white. And I'd never seen that, not in Brooklyn. I couldn't believe it. So, I drank out of the colored fountain. It was cold, good water."It was also in Miami where he adopted his professional name, the station manager telling him, "'You can't use Larry Zeiger, it's too ethnic and people won't know how to spell it. You need another name.' He had the

Miami Heraldopen...and it was an ad for King's Wholesale Liquors. And he said, 'How about Larry King?' I'm glad he didn't say 'How about Larry Liquor?'"He was a two-time Peabody Award recipient, winning in 1982 for his daily coast-to-coast radio broadcast

The Larry King Showand again in 1992 forLarry King Live. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame in 1996, and in 2002Talkers Magazineranked him the number-one TV talk show host of all time. He also wrote a society-style column for

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USA Todayfrom 1982 until 2001 and authored a number of books, his most recent being 2011'sTruth Be Told.Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesWhile he made his name and reputation as a journalist, King acknowledged that his CNN show definitely qualified as "infotainment."

And King was comfortable in his hybrid role, shifting gears depending on whomever that evening's guest was or whatever was leading the news. "It's a hairline difference. When I interview [President Read more: E! News »

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R I P Larry king!