Former broadcast journalist and talk show host Larry King has died at 87.
The legendary TV icon passed away in the early hours on Saturday, January 23, at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, an official statement by his Ora Media company confirmed.
“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the sad death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King,” the firm said.
"For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's may thousands of interviews, awards and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.
"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, uncomplicated questions."
King was hospitalized back in December after contracting COVID-19.
His health had deteriorated to the point he had to be taken to the ICU on New Year’s Eve.
There, he was given oxygen to help him breathe before being moved back to his hospital room in early January when his condition started improving, David Theall, a spokesman for Ora Media revealed.
King’s company continued to add, "He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief…
"Ora Media sends our condolences to his surviving children Larry, Jr, Chance, Cannon and the entire King family."
"Funeral services and a memorial service will be announced later in co-ordination with the King family, who ask for privacy at this time.”
Over the years, King has faced several health problems including lung and prostate cancer.
In 2019, he survived a near-fatal stroke that left him in a coma for weeks, having also suffered a heart attack that had almost taken his life back in 1987.
The New York native, born in Brooklyn, landed a career in journalism after relocating to Florida where he provided on-air presenting gigs for several radio stations in 1957.
King, who was born Lawrence Zeiger, changed his name on the advice of his station manager at the time.
Having made a name for himself in radio, King later transitioned into TV in 1960, hosting a local news show called Miami Undercover that would lead him to work with comedian and mentor Jackie Gleason.
The Larry King Show, which ran between 1978 until 1994, earned him the Peabody Award in 1982, and by 1985, he had landed a new deal with CNN to front Larry King Live up until December 2010.