Television and Radio Host. Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, the son of Orthodox Jewish parents who immigrated to the US from Russia in the early 1930s, he had an interest in radio from a young age. In his early 20s, he took off to Miami, Florida and was able to obtain a job with a small radio station, WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach to clean up and perform miscellaneous tasks. When one of the station's announcers abruptly quit, he was put on the air as a disc jockey. The general manager wanted him to use a different last name and King was chosen from an ad in the Miami Herald for King's Wholesale Liquor. Within two years, he legally changed his name to Larry King. He started doing interviews on a show for WIOD at Pumpernik's Restaurant in Miami Beach. His first interview was with a waiter at the restaurant and two days later, singer Bobby Darin walked in having heard King's radio show and became his first celebrity guest. He gained local attention and then in May 1960, he hosted "Miami Undercover" on Sunday nights on WPST-TV (now WPLG). He was also a color commentator for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League during their 1970 season and most of their 1971 season. However, he was dismissed by both WIOD and television station WTVJ as a late-night radio host and sports commentator as of December 20, 1971, when he was arrested for grand larceny based on charges brought by a former business partner which were later dismissed. He had also lost his weekly column at the Miami Beach Sun newspaper. He was rehired by WIOD and for many years during the 1970s, he hosted a sports talk-show called "Sports-a-la-King" that featured guests and callers. In January 1978, he went national on a nightly Mutual Broadcasting System coast-to-coast broadcast and soon gained a devoted audience. "The Larry King Show" was broadcast live Monday through Friday from midnight to 5:30 am Eastern Time. The show eventually had more than 500 affiliates and he hosted the show until stepping down in 1994. He was most known for "Larry King Live" that started on CNN In June 1985 and stayed on until 2010 after more than 6000 episodes. With a cordial, easygoing demeanor that distinguished him from more intense TV interviewers, King perfected a casual approach to the Q&A format, always leaning forward and listening intently to his guests, rarely interrupting. During its 25-year span, he interviewed every president from Gerald Ford to Barack Obama. He would not spend time preparing for interviews, preferring instead to let his natural curiosity guide the conversations. The show made him one of the faces of the network, and one of the most famous television journalists in the country. His column in USA Today, which ran for nearly 20 years until 2001, showcased his distinct style in print, inviting readers down a trail of non-sequiturs that served as a window into his mind. Those musings, combined with his unmistakable appearance -- oversized glasses, ever-present suspenders -- made King ripe for caricature. In the 1990s, he was portrayed on "Saturday Night Live" by Norm MacDonald, who channeled the USA Today column with a spot-on impersonation. After leaving CNN, in March 2012, he co-founded Ora TV, a production company. On January 16, 2013, Ora TV celebrated their 100th episode of "Larry King Now." In May 2013, RT America network announced their deal with Ora TV to host "Larry King Now" on its network. The show continued to be available on Hulu.com and Ora TV. The following month, RT America began airing Larry King's new Thursday evening political talk show "Politicking with Larry King." During his career, he also guest starred in episodes of "Arthur," "30 Rock" and "Gravity Falls," had cameos in "Ghostbusters" and "Bee Movie," and voiced Doris the Ugly Stepsister in "Shrek 2 and its sequels. He also played himself in "The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story" and in an episode of "Law and Order: Trial by Jury." He also hosted the educational television series "In View with Larry King" from 2013 to 2015. He became a very active user on the social-networking site Twitter, where he posted thoughts and commented on a wide variety of subjects. Over the years, he received many broadcasting awards. He won two Peabody Awards for Excellence in broadcasting for both his radio (1982) and television (1992) shows. He also won 10 CableACE awards for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series. In 1989, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, and in 1996 to the Broadcasters' Hall of Fame. In 2002, the industry publication Talkers Magazine named King both the fourth-greatest radio talk show host of all time and the top television talk show host of all time. He received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University in 1994 and in 1996, he received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member Art Buchwald. In January 2008, the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California awarded him the Golden Mike Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was also an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills and he was a recipient of the President's Award honoring his impact on media from the Los Angeles Press Club in 2006. He was the first recipient of the Arizona State University Hugh Downs Award for Communication Excellence, presented April 11, 2007 via satellite by Downs himself. He also received honorary degrees from Bradley University, George Washington University, the Columbia School of Medicine, Brooklyn College, the New England Institute of Technology and the Pratt Institute.
Bio by: Glendora