In the 1980s and ’90s, for celebrities, politicians, lawyers, activists and many others, an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” was a sign that you’d made it on the national stage.
King, who died Saturday at the age of 87, was remembered as a tough but fair interviewer who had a strong sense of humor and was unfailingly gracious to his guests. His 25-year tenure on CNN, and more recently as a the host of a show for the Ora.TV streaming platform, ensured that King interacted with most of the major newsmakers of his time.
Fellow talk show host Craig Ferguson hailed King as a role model behind the mic. “He taught me so much,” Ferguson wrote on Twitter.
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
— Craig Ferguson (@CraigyFerg) January 23, 2021
Author Anne Rice remembered King warmly even though she only knew him from appearances on his show. “He was always interesting, gracious and fun,” she wrote on Twitter.
We have lost Larry King. He has died at age 87. I knew Larry only through radio & TV interviews. He was always interesting, gracious and fun. I will miss him.
— Anne Rice (@AnneRiceAuthor) January 23, 2021
King’s CNN show was a big source of breaking news during the O.J. Simpson murder trial saga of the mid-1990s. King worked with the writers and producers of FX’s “The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” to help them capture that era. Scribe Larry Karaszewski praised him for his insights, calling him “a true legend.”
A true legend has passed. We had the honor of working with Larry King on our OJ miniseries. Larry graciously agreed to play himself and was so full of stories about how his show became the nightly epicenter for all the personalities involved in that case. https://t.co/gZTQEXf5ql pic.twitter.com/QpN3TkUDKi
— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) January 23, 2021
From his early days in Miami radio to being part of the CNN revolution, King was hugely influential and incredibly kind. “I’ve never known anybody who made a bigger deal out of the slightest kindness afforded him,” fellow broadcaster Keith Olbermann wrote on Twitter.
My friend Larry King has died.
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. #RIPLarryKing
1) 25 years ago… pic.twitter.com/CrA6tleJDH
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 23, 2021
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted King’s Brooklyn roots and his skill at talking to people “in a clear and plain way.”
Larry King was a Brooklyn boy who become a newsman who interviewed the newsmakers. He conducted over 50,000 interviews that informed Americans in a clear and plain way.
New York sends condolences to his family and many friends.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 23, 2021
King was renown for his love of baseball. Ben Sherwood, former Disney/ABC Television chief who is now heading the digital youth sports service Mojo, noted King’s regular presence at Little League games “as a devoted sports dad” in the Los Angeles area in recent years.
When he wasn’t on @cnn or at @NatenAl with his friends, @kingsthings often roamed the @LittleLeague fields of Los Angeles coaching and cheering his sons Chance and Cannon. Among his many roles, he was a real ⚾️ fan and a devoted sports dad. #RIPLarryKing
— Ben Sherwood (@bensherwood) January 23, 2021