The ever-voluble Larry King has presided over his nightly talk show on CNN since 1985, hosting an array of celebrities, politicians and newsmakers who sit down for his amiable inquisitions.
King got his start as a radio broadcaster in Miami, then moved onto the national stage as the host of Mutual Radio’s “The Larry King Show” from 1978 to 1984. Since he began in broadcasting in 1957, King has logged more than 40,000 interviews, according to CNN.
“Larry King Live” is viewed as a required pit stop for politicians. Known for his genial manner and ever-present suspenders, King also manages to secure many guests seeking to shake off a scandal, in part because the interviews rarely get contentious.
“I know I'm called a journalist and I'm highly complimented to be called it, but I don't think of what I do when I go on the air as journalism,” he said once. “I think of it as 'infotainment.' … I think I'm the back page. I think I'm the fringe. I will ask things differently because I walk this area in between news and entertainment.”
Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, King changed his name when he started working in radio in Florida. He is married to singer-actress Shawn Southwick-King and is the father of Andy, Larry Jr., Chaia, Chance and Cannon and stepfather to Danny Southwick.