Larry King: tributes pour in for the ‘legendary’ TV show host

Celebrities, journalists and politicians highlighted King's unique interview style

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Tributes for Larry King are pouring in on social media following the talk show host’s death at the age of 87.

King was hospitalised in late December after contracting Covid-19. His media company announced his death on Twitter on Saturday.

“Hero”, “legend” and “icon” are just some of the words used to describe the respected interviewer by celebrities, journalists, athletes and former colleagues.

"Larry King was a giant of broadcasting and a master of the TV celebrity/statesman-woman interview," journalist Christiane Amanpour wrote in a tweet.

"Thanks for the countless interviews and insights, Larry King. You understood human triumph and frailty equally well, and that is no easy feat," wrote actor George Takei in a tweet.

King was best known for his conversational interview style and his long-running CNN show Larry King Live, where he spoke to various politicians, actors and public figures.

His guests included US presidents dating back to Gerald Ford, international leaders such as PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as entertainers ranging from Bob Hope to Snoop Dogg.

Journalist Carl Quintanilla highlighted the interviewer’s innovative style in his tribute: “Larry King pioneered the live-interview environment we now take for granted – where you weren’t exactly sure the whole chat wouldn’t simply combust”.

King’s career stretched for more than six decades, and former colleagues noted his legacy and hardworking nature. “It seems like #LarryKing has been in broadcasting for longer than time itself. He worked till the end. What a legacy and life,” said Sara Sidner, a CNN correspondent.

Other CNN colleagues, Jon Acosta and Greta Van Susteren, also shared their memories of the interview online. “So few TV hosts can do their jobs like #larryking ...you could not tell what his politics were ...he let his guests answer the questions...and he thought his guest the “stars” and not himself…,” Van Susteren wrote on Twitter.

Politicians, such as Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo, also offered their condolences. “Larry King was a Brooklyn boy who became 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.”

Former US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said, “Larry King was a legendary radio and TV pioneer… Larry will be missed but he left fond memories.”