Larry King is a CNN anchor and the former host of Larry King Live. He is currently hosting specials for CNN. In December 2010, King hung up his nightly suspenders and ended Larry King Live, the program he hosted for 25 years on CNN. The archives of Larry King Live is a treasure trove of broadcast history, featuring compelling one-on-ones with many of the most famous and important people of the past two-and-a-half decades, as well as obscure individuals thrust into the spotlight by extraordinary circumstances.
Over the course of his historic career, Larry has done more than 50,000 interviews with newsmakers from all walks of life. With his unique, conversational approach to interviewing, he changed not only the landscape of cable television, but television news in general and became a domineering force in primetime news programming. As the Emmy Award-winning host of what was CNN's highest-rated program, King has been dubbed "the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever" by TV Guide and "master of the mic" by TIME magazine.
Larry King Live debuted on CNN in June 1985, featuring its now-famous mix of celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussions. When King made the transition from his successful national radio talk show to cable, he helped define the future of cable news programming and CNN. Telecast each weeknight at 9 p.m. (ET), the program featured phone calls and e-mails from viewers around the world. In June 1994, King created the first daily radio/TV talk show by simulcasting CNN's Larry King Live on Mutual/Westwood One radio stations nationwide.
King has done some 50,000 interviews throughout his half century in broadcasting, including exclusive sit-downs with every U.S. president since Gerald Ford. King's famed NAFTA debate between then-Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot in 1993 smashed cable industry ratings records and obtained the highest rating in CNN history - reaching more than 16.3 million viewers. In 1995, King showcased his extraordinary skill in international arena when he hosted a historic hour on the Middle East Peace process with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. King's award-winning jailhouse interviews include convicted murderers Sante Kimes and her son, Kenneth; Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman to be executed in Texas; and Mike Tyson.
In 2010, King pulled together a celebrity telethon just days after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, showing viewers around the world how they could contribute time, resources and money. The two-hour international broadcast, Haiti: How You Can Help, brought in close to $10 million over the course of its airings and used social media in a unique way to bring viewers, celebrities, reporters and quake victims together during the program. During the summer of 2010, King helped bring attention and relief to the victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill with another two-hour How You Can Help program, which raised millions of dollars for various charities.
After Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Larry King Live broadcast for 20 consecutive nights. His post-disaster programming included interviews with more than 250 guests and a live, three-hour network special "How You Can Help." During the 2003 Iraq invasion, King hosted live shows for 29 consecutive nights. A very small sampling of the people he interviewed during that historic period includes Gens. Richard Myers and Hugh Shelton, Queen Noor of Jordan and ambassadors from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Syria and Turkey. After the Sept. 11 attacks, King interviewed more than 700 guests, including more than 35 world leaders and dignitaries. In 2000, Kings 37 consecutive days of political coverage during the election recount in Florida featured 348 guests, including George W. and Laura Bush and Al and Tipper Gore. His pre-election coverage for 2000 included the first interviews with each party's newly-selected vice presidential candidates.
During the final year of Larry King Live, King sat across from some of the biggest names in the world, including: George Clooney, The Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, LeBron James, Angelina Jolie and Pres. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Over the course of 50 years, King consistently made headlines with other such high-profile guests as Tony Blair, Marlon Brando, President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Carter and Roslyn Carter, President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bette Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Mark "Deep Throat" Felt, President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford, Jackie Gleason, Mikhail Gorbachev, Billy Graham, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Hope, L.Ron Hubbard, Michael Jordan, Bobby Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ken Lay, Monica Lewinsky, Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon, Al Pacino, Marianne Pearl, Prince, President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Pete Rose, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey and Malcolm X.
Described as the "Muhammad Ali of the broadcast interview," King has been inducted into five of the nation's leading broadcasting halls of fame and is the recipient of the prestigious Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism. Both his radio and television shows have won the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. King 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. King won the prestigious Gracie Allen Award twice by American Women in Radio and Television for his interviews with Melanie Bloom, widow of NBC's David Bloom (2006), and Nellie Connally, a former Texas first lady (2002). Larry King Live was also awarded the Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States in 2006 for Outstanding Talk Show. In 2002, King received two New York Festival Awards for his Sept. 11 coverage and for his interview with Sir Paul McCartney. King was also selected to be an Olympic Torch bearer for the 2002 Winter Games. King received the Unity Award for excellence in public affairs, reporting on minority issues from Lincoln University of Missouri and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Public Service Award for his programming on depression in 2001. King was also crowned Bacchus XXXIII at the 2001 Mardi Gras in New Orleans and was presented the key 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 celebration of his 40th anniversary in the broadcasting industry, Hollywood honored King in 1997 with a star on the Walk of Fame for his lifes work. In 2006, Promax/BDA awarded Larry with their Television Century Award and the Los Angeles Press Club honored him with its President's Award. In 1996, the American Academy of Achievement honored him with the Golden Plate Award for his life's work in the broadcasting industry. In 1994, he received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University, and 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.
Entertainment Tonight called him the "master interviewer," and King has made cameo appearances in more than 20 movies, including Ghostbusters, Primary Colors, America's Sweethearts, Shrek 2 and the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives. King has appeared in television series such as Law and Order, Boston Legal, The Practice, Arli$$, Murphy Brown and Frasier.
Before broadcasting to an international 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 Radio's The Larry King Show.
In addition to his broadcast credits, King founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988, which has raised over $15 million and provided life-saving cardiac procedures for more than 1500 people and provided 100,000 heart screenings for needy children and adults. King also established a $1 million journalism scholarship at George Washington Universitys School of Media and Affairs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
King is married to singer/actress Shawn Southwick-King and is the father of Andy, Larry Jr., Chaia, Chance and Cannon and stepfather to Danny Southwick.