Tributes pour in for broadcasting ‘icon’ Larry King, who has died, aged 87

Madonna and Bill Clinton among those remembering presenter best known for long-running CNN show


BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 01: Larry king attends The Paley Center For Media Presents: A Special Evening With Dionne Warwick: Then Came You at The Paley Center for Media on August 1, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Madonna, Bill Clinton and Goldie Hawn are among the many celebrities and political heavyweights paying tribute to American broadcaster Larry King, who has died, aged 87.

The TV and radio presenter, whose media career spanned six more than decades, was best known for hosting CNN flagship show Larry King Live for 25 years.

Interviewees ranging from the Dalai Lama to Paris Hilton sat down with the affable host, who once said: ‘My number one motto: I never learned anything when I was talking.” He said his secret was never to over-prepare and claimed never to have read the books his celebrity guests were promoting.

King was born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents from Lithuania and Ukraine.

He decided to change his name after a radio boss told him in 1958: “You can’t use Larry Zeiger. It’s too ethnic. People won’t be able to spell it or remember it. You need a better name.”

Among the tributes, Madonna shared a photo of the pair smiling at each other in King’s studio with the caption: “So sorry to hear of your passing! RIP Larry King,”

Goldie Hawn tweeted: “The real deal, no bull, no lies, lots of laughs and the best interviewer and friend anyone could ever want. So long dear one. You are so loved.”

Big Bang Theory star Miyam Bialik wrote: “Larry King interviewed me twice. Both times I was in shock because he’s such an icon. Such a natural. Such a pro.”

King was married eight times to seven different women and didn’t consider his wedding count unusual. “In fact, I used to think that if people were married for a long time they were strange.”

He had five children, two of whom, son Andy and daughter Chaia, died within weeks of each other last year.  His three surviving sons, Larry Jr, Chance and Cannon, said in a statement that they were “heartbroken” at his death.

It read: “The world knew Larry as a great broadcaster and interviewer but to us he was ‘dad’.

“He was the man who lovingly obsessed over our daily schedules and well-being, and who took such immense pride in our accomplishments —large, small or imagined.

“And, through it all, we knew without a doubt in the world that he loved us more than life itself.

“He was an amazing father and he was fiercely loyal to those lucky enough to call him a friend.

“We will miss him every single day of our lives.”

King had said he wanted to be remembered as a good father.

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