Roundup: Veteran U.S. talk show host Larry King dies at 87

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Larry King, a veteran U.S. talk show host and former CNN interviewer, died on Saturday at the age of 87 after media reported earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

"With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles," said a statement posted on King's social media account.

King hosted CNN's "Larry King Live" for over two and a half decades and retired in 2010 after clocking in at more than 6,000 episodes.

"For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster," said Ora Media, a television production company co-founded by King, in the statement.

"Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions," noted the statement.

King was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 19, 1933. He got his start as a broadcaster at a small radio station in Florida in 1957. King is best known for the nightly interview television program "Larry King Live," which aired on CNN from 1985 to 2010. After his CNN career, King went on to be the host of Ora Media shows "Larry King Now" and "Politicking With Larry King."

"We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King," CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement posted online, adding that King had a history-making career spanning radio and television.

"His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him," Zucker noted.

The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) President Gabrielle Carteris mourned the loss of King on behalf of the actors union. King was a member of the union for more than half a century.

"From heads of state to the most popular entertainers of the day, Larry King interviewed them all. His warm, avuncular manner drew guests, listeners and viewers alike," Carteris said in a statement.

"Over a career of more than six decades, he was equally comfortable on radio, television and digital media, and he never stopped connecting with audiences. His distinctive voice will be sorely missed," she added.

"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," wrote New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a tweet.

"New York sends condolences to his family and many friends," the governor added.

King was honored with two Peabody Awards and 10 Cable ACE Awards in his career. He was also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 News and Documentary Emmys.

No cause of death was given by Ora Media in the statement. Earlier this month, citing sources close to the family, CNN reported that King had been undergoing intensive treatment for over a week after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Besides Type 2 diabetes, King has also reportedly faced some other medical issues over years, such as heart attacks, angina and lung cancer.

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