With over 60 years under his belt in broadcasting, two Peabody Awards and even an Emmy, Larry King is undoubtedly one of the legends of television and radio.
According to US media, 87-year-old King has recently been hospitalized with COVID-19 and is being treated a hospital in Los Angeles. Sources close to his family have told ABC News that the talk show host had tested positive for the coronavirus and has been at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center now for over a week
King is no stranger to health issues and has survived multiple heart attacks, multiple cancers, and even suffers from Type 2 diabetes. “Larry has fought so many health issues in the last few years and he is fighting this one hard too, he’s a champ,” one source said to CNN.
It was in 2017 that the famed talk show host revealed that they had diagnosed him with lung cancer, saying doctors noticed a Stage 1 tumor during his annual chest X-ray. It was at Cedars-Sinai too that he had a malignant tumor removed. King has also battled prostate cancer at one point.
He had his first heart attack over 30 years ago and in 1987 had quintuple bypass surgery. The former CNN interviewer lived on a diet of three packs of cigarettes a day and greasy food before his first attack.
In a 2015 interview, King had said he had changed his health around, but his heart disease still progressed. In 2019 he suffered chest pains and had to go to the hospital where doctors put in a stent to repair the artery that had been put there during his bypass surgery in the 80s.
His own heart issues may have helped prompt the talk show host to finding the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988, a charity that helps to fund heart treatment for those who have limited financial means or no medical insurance.
King rose to fame back in the 1970s with his radio program, “The Larry King Show,” which was hosted on the commercial network Mutual Broadcasting System. Most recently he hosted “Larry King Now” on streaming platform Hulu and RT America (Russia’s state-controlled international broadcaster) from 2012 to 2020. He was also the host of “Larry King Life” on CNN from 1985 to 2010 and currently hosts “Politicking with Larry King.”
Next to his radio and television shows, King had also written a column for the USA Today newspaper for over 20 years.
Throughout his long career, King has interviewed many of the leading figures of his time including -politicians, actors, and musicians. Some of his memorable interviews include actor Marlon Brando and rapper Snoop Dogg. According to CNN, King has conducted over 30,000 interviews in his lifetime.
He has also reported on some of history’s most significant moments, such as the Berlin Wall, 9/11, and O. J. Simpson’s wild police car chase.
King has seven ex-wives and over the course of these marriages, he has had five children.
It was last year that King lost two of them when his adopted son Andy died of a heart attack at 65 and his daughter Chaia died of lung cancer at 51. The two died within 23 days of one another.
In August King wrote on Facebook, “It is with sadness and a father’s broken heart that I confirm the recent loss of two of my children, Andy King, and Chaia King. Both of them were good and kind souls, and they will be greatly missed. Losing them feels so out of order. No parent should have to bury a child. My family and I thank you for your outpouring of kind sentiments and well wishes. At this moment, we need a little time and privacy to heal. I thank you for respecting that.”
King is also father to Larry Jr. who was born in 1961. The veteran host never met him until he was in his twenties and shockingly introduced Larry King Jr. on his CNN Show Larry King Live.
He has two other sons named Chance and Cannon. The former was born in 1999 and is a high school graduate working in North Carolina while the latter was born in 2000 and is reportedly a college baseball player.
News of King being hospitalized with coronavirus was first reported by Showbiz 411 who also said he was being treated in isolation and that he could not have family visit him.
The details of King’s current condition have not been released, nor have there been any other comments on his hospital treatment.
As for whether the broadcasting veteran fears his own death, King said last February to People, “I’m 86 and it is what it is. I just want to keep working until the end. I’d like to die at work.”
King has over 2 million followers on Twitter and last tweeted on November 26th, wishing his followers a happy Thanksgiving.