US talk show host Larry King has passed away at the age of 87, just weeks after testing positive for Covid-19.
King, who had a career spanning for longer than six decades, was known for his broadcast interviews, quizzing world leaders, politicians and entertainers. The official announcement of his death was made by CNN, for whom he was a nightly fixture for several decades.
While the official cause of his death has not yet been made public, it is known that he had been battling the coronavirus and had been hospitalised for it earlier this week. He had been enduring health problems for many years, including diabetes, removal of a cancerous tumour in his lung in 2017, and a near-fatal stroke in 2019
The legendary host’s long list of interviewees include every US president since 1974, other world leaders like Yasser Arafat and Vladimir Putin, Martin Luther King Jr as well as other celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Barbara Streisand.
King was the host of a popular nighttime radio call-in show in the 1970s and 1980s, and was catapulted into nationwide prominence after Ted Turner, owner of CNN persuaded him to join his network in 1985. He then started what became his most iconic show “Larry King Live”, which ran from 1985 to 2010. After 25 years being aired on cable, King announced in 2010 that he would retire. By the time he left, he was estimated to have done close to 50,000 interviews during his more than half a century on radio and television. In 2011, he won an Emmy award for lifetime achievement.