Controversial multi-hyphenate Larry Elder once deemed himself the "Sage of South-Central" and he has been a longtime fixture on L.A. radio, offering libertarian and conservative commentaries on various contemporary issues.
Raised in Los Angeles’ South-Central district, Elder attended Crenshaw High School and Brown University before getting his law degree from the University of Michigan. After working as a litigation lawyer in Cleveland, he founded Laurence A. Elder and Associates, an executive search firm placing attorneys, in 1980.
By the end of the decade, Elder had begun his career in media, hosting a TV show on PBS affiliate WVIZ that was soon re-titled "The Larry Elder Show" and moved to local FOX affiliate WOIO.
Elder was drawn back to his native Los Angeles in 1994, when he launched the long-running talk radio revamp of "The Larry Elder Show" on KABC-AM (790). It aired until 2008, and was revived in 2010 only to be canceled in 2014.
Though a TV version of "The Larry Elder Show" failed to connect in the mid-2000s, Elder has been involved with a slew of other TV projects.
Elder produced and hosted a KCAL-TV Channel 9 news special titled "Making Waves — LAUSD" in 2000, which earned him a Los Angeles-area Emmy Award. He hosted the Warner Bros. Television court series "Moral Court" in 2000 and 2001, sat in for a vacationing Geraldo Rivera on CNBC’s "Rivera Live," and acted as a host of PBS’ "National Desk," which featured the segment "Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices From Black America." The episode won Elder an AEGIS Award of Excellence, a Telly award, and an Emerald City Gold Award of Excellence.
Additionally, Elder has appeared as himself on such prime-time shows as "Spin City" and "The Hughleys," and his ongoing op-ed column is printed in various print and online papers. His books include "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America," "Dear Father, Dear Son," "What's Race Got to Do with It?: Why It's Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America" and "The Ten Things You Can't Say In America." In 2005, Elder directed the film "Michael & Me," a documentary acting as a counterpoint to Michael Moore’s "Bowling for Columbine."
Elder’s libertarian viewpoints have at times rankled both Democrats and Republicans, while his followers — known as "Elderados" — have proved loyal through the years.
"I just call it the way I see it, and that's unsettling to some people," Elder told the Los Angeles Times in 2010, when he rejoined KABC. "I will still be provocative and controversial. When I take a point of view, I like to think that it's well-thought-out and reasonable. I might convince that guy in the car who's listening to me to rethink his assumption."