Dubbed the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever by TV Guide and master of the mike by TIME magazine, the Emmy Award-winning Larry King hosts CNNs Larry King Live, the first worldwide phone-in television talk show and the networks highest-rated program. King also hosts Larry King Weekend for CNN, as well as a series of specials for CNNs sister network, TNT. In addition, he writes a weekly newspaper column for USA Today and has written 11 books.
Larry King Live debuted on CNN in 1985 with its mix of celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussion. Telecast each weeknight at 9 p.m. (ET), the program also features phone calls from viewers around the world. CNNs Larry King Weekend airs every Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. and offers in-depth profiles and career retrospectives of news and entertainment figures. In June 1994, King created the first daily radio/TV talk show by simulcasting CNNs Larry King Live on Mutual/Westwood One radio stations nationwide.
King has been asking people questions for more than 40 years and is one of the most respected personalities in the industry, having accumulated more than 40,000 interviews including every living U.S. president and first lady since the Nixon administration, in addition to the late Richard Nixon. One of his most recent achievements is his extensive political interviews during the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns. In 2000, Larry King Live was the highest-rated cable news program led by the top political guests, including presidential and vice-presidential candidates and their spouses. Kings 37 straight days of Election 2000 political coverage featured 348 guests, including George and Laura Bush and Al and Tipper Gore with Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat Joe Lieberman who gave King their first interviews after being selected as presidential running mates. Other highlights of 2000 include interviews with Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, John and Patsy Ramsey and former lead detective Steve Thomas, Bob Jones III, and Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke in their first interview together in more than 30 years.
Larry King Live continues to make headlines with such high-profile guests as Barbra Streisand, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Eric Clapton, Prince Albert of Monaco, Madonna, Gordon B. Hinckley, Jim Carrey, Mikhail Gorbachev, Stephen Hawking, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Pete Rose, Sting, George Burns, Yasser Arafat, Tom Cruise, Margaret Thatcher, Michael Jordan, Prince, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Cal Ripkin Jr. and Bette Davis. Kings famed NAFTA debate between Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot in 1993 garnered the highest cable rating in CNN history outside of the networks Gulf War coverage.
Described as the Muhammad Ali of the broadcast interview, King has been inducted into five of the nations leading broadcasting halls of fame. Both his radio and television shows have won the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. King also has won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview/Interviewer and 10 CableACE awards for Best Interviewer and for best Talk Show Series.
In 2001, King will be receiving the Unity Award for excellence in public affairs reporting on minority issues from Lincoln University of Missouri and the American Foundation for Suicide Preventions Public Service Award for his programming on depression. King was also crowned Bacchus XXXIII at the 2001 Mardi Gras in New Orleans and was presented the keys to the city. In 2000, King received Harvard Universitys Mahoney Award for increasing public awareness about neuroscience and the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for his efforts on behalf of community volunteerism. In May 1997, King celebrated his 40th anniversary in the broadcasting industry and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his lifes work. In 1996, he was honored by the American Academy of Achievement with the Golden Plate Award for his lifes work in the broadcasting industry. In 1994, he received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University. In 1993, the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts named King Talk Show Host of the Year. He has received honorary degrees from George Washington University, the New England Institute of Technology, Brooklyn College and the Pratt Institute and was a recent commencement speaker at Columbia University Medical School.
Entertainment Tonight called him the master interviewer, and King has made cameo appearances in 18 movies including Ghostbusters, Primary Colors, Contact, The Kid, The Contender and the upcoming film, Americas Sweethearts. King has appeared in such television series as Murphy Brown, Frasier and Murder One.
Before broadcasting to a national audience, King was a popular media personality in Miami, where he hosted interview programs for WIOD-Radio and WTVJ-TV. From 1978-1994, Kings voice was heard by millions of radio listeners on Mutual Radios The Larry King Show.
He founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which awards grants to individuals suffering from heart disease to help pay for medical treatment. He also is involved with the American Heart Association and the Save the Children Foundation.
King, father of Andy, Larry Jr., Chaia, Chance and Cannon, married Shawn Southwick-King in September 1997. The Kings split their time between the East and West coasts, with a vacation home in Provo, Utah.