This story was updated Jan. 28, 2021.
Jan 23, 2021 -- Larry King, the television and radio talk show host who interviewed thousands over a six-decade career, died on Friday at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. His death was announced on his official Twitter account and through Ora TV, the production company he founded.
In the week after his death, his widow, Shawn Southwick King, said he died of sepsis. Although the 87-year-old King had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in early January, Southwick King said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that it was unrelated to his death.
King had a variety of medical issues in his life. He had Type 2 diabetes, survived several heart attacks, and underwent quintuple bypass surgery in 1987. He underwent surgery for lung cancer in 2017 and had a procedure for angina in 2019, CNN said.
King was born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish immigrants. His legendary broadcasting career began in radio, expanding to television when he became the host of “Larry King Live” on CNN from 1985 to 2011. It was one of CNN’s highest rated shows. It garnered him numerous awards including an Emmy, two Peabodys and 10 Cable Ace Awards. In recent years, he'd been active in independent productions.
“With the folksy personality of a Bensonhurst schmoozer, Mr. King interviewed an estimated 50,000 people of every imaginable persuasion and claim to fame — every president since Richard M. Nixon, world leaders, royalty, religious and business figures, crime and disaster victims, pundits, swindlers, ‘experts’ on U.F.O.s and paranormal phenomena, and untold hosts of idiosyncratic and insomniac telephone callers,” the New York Times said in an obit.
"We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King," CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement. "The scrappy young man from Brooklyn had a history-making career spanning radio and television. His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him.”