Former CNN talk show host and broadcasting legend Larry King died Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 87.

His company, Ora Media, announced the news on Twitter.

King was hospitalized in late December after contracting COVID-19 and spent time in the hospital’s intensive care unit. But no cause of death was released.

King became a household name as the host of CNN’s “Larry King Live” for decades after a successful run as host of radio’s “The Larry King Show” in the 1970s.

The Brooklyn native, who began his broadcasting career in Miami in the 1960s, stepped down from his CNN show in 2010 after conducting more than 6,000 newsmaker interviews, but continued to work, hosting “Larry King Now” from 2012-20 on Hulu and RT America. He also hosted the weekly “Politicking with Larry King” on those channels and wrote a long-running weekly column for USA Saturday.

“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,” Ora Media said on Twitter.

“Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience.

“Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions.

“He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”

King was also a high-profile Dodgers fan, a fixture at Nate & Al’s in Beverly Hills and owner of Original Brooklyn Water Bagel, also in Beverly Hills.

Tributes immediately began pouring in on social media from colleagues, former co-workers, friends and fans.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened by the passing of Larry King and offer their deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the team tweeted.

“Larry King was a giant of broadcasting and a master of the TV celebrity/statesman-woman interview,” CNN chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour posted on Twitter. “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.”

Longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather tweeted, “Larry King was a friend through thick and thin. A masterful interviewer and storyteller. He helped put CNN on the map by making news through the art of dialogue. May he Rest In Peace.”

CNN founder Ted Turner released the following statement:

“Waking up to the news of the passing of Larry King felt like a punch to the gut. Larry was one of my closest and dearest friends and, in my opinion, the world’s greatest broadcast journalist of all time. If anyone asked me what are my greatest career achievements in life, one is the creation of CNN, and the other is hiring Larry King. … he was a consummate professional, an amazing mentor to many and a good friend to all. The world has lost a true legend.”

The president of CNN, Jeff Zucker, said of King: “His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him. We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage.”

Broadcaster Ryan Seacrest tweeted, “I lost a dear friend and mentor. Truly an American treasure. Rest in peace, Larry King.”

Talk-show host Conan O’Brien tweeted, “Woke to the very sad news that Larry King has passed. For my entire career in television Larry was a generous and fearless friend who performed in outrageous skits with the glee and skill of a vaudevillian. Larry will be rightly lauded as a consummate broadcaster and interviewer, but he was also a hilariously funny and generous performer. Rest In Peace, Larry.”

Former late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson said, “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. So long pal, thanks for all the laughs. Say hi to Rickles. #RIPLarryKing.”

Andy Cohen, host of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” tweeted, “RIP Larry King!!!! I loved the easy breezy format of his CNN show, and his amazing voice.”

Oprah Winfrey tweeted, “It was always a treat to sit at your table. And hear your stories. Thank you Larry King.”

Former President Bill Clinton tweeted, “I enjoyed my 20+ interviews with Larry King over the years. He had a great sense of humor and a genuine interest in people. He gave a direct line to the American people and worked hard to get the truth for them, with questions that were direct but fair. Farewell, my friend.”

Actor George Takei thanked King for “the countless interviews and insights … You understood human triumph and frailty equally well, and that is no easy feat. There was no one else like you, and you shall be missed. Rest with the heavens now.”

Former ESPN and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, who now hosts a show on YouTube, offered fond memories of a longtime friend.

“My friend Larry King has died,” Olbermann tweeted. “It is literally true that thousands of us can make that sad statement this morning. While he was easily caricatured, I’ve never known anybody who made a bigger deal out of the slightest kindness afforded him.”

Piers Morgan, whose show on CNN replaced “Larry King Live” in 2012, posted to Twitter, “RIP Larry King, 87. A television legend,” then followed that up a short time later with another tweet that drew some criticism from others on the platform: “Larry King was a hero of mine until we fell out after I replaced him at CNN & he said my show was `like watching your mother-in-law go over a cliff in your new Bentley.’ (He married 8 times so a mother-in-law expert) But he was a brilliant broadcaster & masterful TV interviewer.”

The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which King joined in 1968, released the following statement:

“From heads of state to the most popular entertainers of the day, Larry King interviewed them all. His warm, avuncular manner drew guests, listeners and viewers alike. Over a career of more than six decades, he was equally comfortable on radio, television and digital media, and he never stopped connecting with audiences. His distinctive voice will be sorely missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.”

Among the many highlights of King’s long reign on CNN were his 1988 interview with the notoriously press-shy Frank Sinatra, getting Ross Perot to announce his presidential candidacy in 1992 (provided his supporters got him on the ballot in all 50 states), and a live debate between Perot and then-Vice President Al Gore over the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. The latter program was credited with helping the trade deal gain enough support from the American public to pass through Congress.

In 2018, King remembered attending Jackie Robinson’s first game as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1947 at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, when Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier.

“This was a major day in the history of baseball. I can remember Number 42 coming out in that bright white Dodger uniform. … I later interviewed him twice … but when he came out of that dugout, we all knew history was being made.”

King had weathered numerous health problems, including a major heart attack in 1987, the removal of a cancerous tumor in 2017, an angioplasty in 2019, and a stroke in March 2019. He also had Type 2 diabetes.

Last year, King lost two of his five children within weeks of each other. Son Andy King died of a heart attack at 65 in August, and daughter Chaia King died from lung cancer at 51 in July, Larry King said then in a statement.

King is survived by three sons, Larry Jr., Chance and Cannon.

King was married eight times, the most recent to actress Shawn King, which lasted 22 years, although they filed for divorce in 2010 and 2019. Each of his previous marriages ended in divorce.

“Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family, who ask for their privacy at this time,” Ora Media said.

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