Larry King dies aged 87 weeks after battling COVID

Larry King dies aged 87 weeks after battling COVID

Larry King, a CNN talk-show host whose soft style of questioning landed him high-profile interviews with world leaders, celebrities and star athletes for decades, has died. He was 87.

Mr. King weathered numerous health problems over the years. He suffered several heart attacks, including a major one in 1987 that required quintuple bypass surgery and led him to create the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Once a heavy smoker, King was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017, underwent an angioplasty and suffered a stroke in 2019.

Mr. King was married eight times to seven women and had five children.

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.

Mr. King might have made a fascinating guest on his own show: the delivery boy who became one of America’s most famous TV and radio personalities, a newspaper columnist, the author of numerous books and a performer in dozens of movies and television shows, mostly as himself.

His personal life was the stuff of supermarket tabloids — married eight times to seven women; a chronic gambler who declared bankruptcy twice; arrested on a fraud charge that derailed his career for years; and a bundle of contradictions who never quite got over his own success but gushed, star-struck, over other celebrities, exclaiming, “Great!” “Terrific!” “Gee whiz!

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