Larry King Hosts 25 Years of Health News
Sen. Bob Dole was very open on our show in talking about his prostate cancer, at a time when few men discussed it. He discovered it with a PSA test. At the Republican Convention in 1992, he and I were walking together and a man came up and said, “Both of you saved my life. I never knew about the test but after I saw you on the show, I went and took it. I had cancer, they took out my prostate and it saved my life. I think of both of you every day.” You can’t match that, as to accomplishing something.
Wendy Walker: We’ve also done a lot on depression. We did a program in the 1990s with Art Buchwald, Mike Wallace, and William Styron, the author of Sophie’s Choice, all talking about their struggles with depression. Buchwald told a story about being in New York, about to jump out of a hotel room window, and there was a porter who came to the door and helped him, so he didn’t. We had a girl call in to the show to tell us that she had been planning to commit suicide, but she was so moved by what Buchwald said that she decided to hold on.
And we also got a call after we did a show about Natasha Richardson’s death from a head injury while she was skiing. [The caller] said having seen the show and learning the warning signs saved their daughter’s life after she hit her head.
WebMD: What are some of the breakthrough shows that you’ve done on medical issues -- topics that previously hadn’t gotten much coverage, or were controversial?
WW: We were one of the first shows to discuss the potential link between cancer and radiation from cell phones. We did an early show on this in 1993, and in 2008 we did a program with Johnnie Cochran’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Keith Black. [Cochran died of a brain tumor in 2005.] He wouldn’t come out and say that he [thought he] got the brain tumor because of cell phone use, but he wouldn’t rule it out.