Americans woke up on Saturday to news that legendary talk show host Larry King died as celebrities, news anchors and fans alike took to social media to share the impact King had on their lives.
King had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in late December 2019 and was in the ICU for a period of time. He passed away Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to Ora Media, a production company King founded with Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim.
“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster,” the company said.
Over the course of more than five decades years in radio and TV broadcasting, half of it spent hosting CNN’s “Larry King Live,” King mingled with the famous and infamous.
CNN President Jeff Zucker issued a statement noting “we are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage.”
CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour reflected on how influential King was to the cable network’s success.
“King was a giant of broadcasting and a master of the TV celebrity/statesman-woman interview. His name is synonymous with CNN and he was vital to the network’s ascent. EVERYONE wanted to be on Larry King Live. May he Rest in Peace,” Amanpour wrote.
Craig Ferguson reflected on the lessons King taught him.
“Just heard the awful news about Larry King. He taught me so much. He was a true mensch. He probably even taught me that word,” Ferguson wrote. “So long pal, thanks for all the laughs. Say hi to Rickles.”
Meghan McCain shared a photo of King and her to Instagram and wrote a touching tribute to her “real friend” and thanked him for giving her a chance when “no one took me seriously.”
“I am grateful for the years of friendship, guidance and stories you shared with me Larry. You are an institution, a broadcast legend, will never be replaced and truly missed. TV is less interesting without you,” McCain wrote. “Prayers and light to the entire King family today.”
Wendy Williams wrote: “Sad news this morning. TV broadcasting legend Larry King has passed away.”
“Rest In Peace Larry King,” tweeted Rosanna Arquette.
Comedian Rickey Smiley remembered his 2019 interview with King.
“I was really honored to be interviewed by the legendary #LarryKing back in 2019,” Smiley wrote. “May he rest in peace.”
Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir shared a black and white photo of King and also reflected on the time the TV legend interviewed him.
“One of the most memorable moments I’ve had in an interview was the first time I met Larry King & he asked me how it felt “to be so fierce.” May he Rest In Peace. Sending my condolences and prayers to those he leaves behind,” Weir wrote.
“Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts wrote: “Such sad news…thinking of Larry King’s family and loved ones.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sent his condolences to the “Brooklyn boy who become a newsman” on behalf of the state.
Spots commentator Keith Olbermann shared a touching story about his “friend” King recalling a time he sent him a bottle of champagne.
Entertainment Tonight host Nischelle Turner recalled her run ins with King at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
“I would often see him in the elevators at Dodger Stadium and he always had a kind word and fun story. When I came to CNN one of the first things I did was sit down and watch as many Larry King interviews as I could. He was every man’s interviewer and I loved every thing about it,” Turner tweeted.
Contributing: Gary Levin