Larry King, the US talk show legend who quizzed world leaders, politicians and celebrities during a career spanning more than six decades, has died aged 87.
The TV star had been admitted to a Los Angeles hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in December.
In a statement on social media Ora Media, the production company he founded in 2012, said King passed away this morning at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
“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 testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster,” it said.
King rose to fame in the 1970s with his radio programme the Larry King Show, which aired nationally on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
He then began a 25-year tenure on CNN’s Larry King Live, which saw King interview a range of politicians, celebrities and sports stars.
The programme, which aired every night, was CNN’s most-watched and longest-running show.
King, who sometimes faced criticism for not researching his guests and asking softball questions, described himself as a conduit between the audience and subject.
“Whether he was interviewing a US president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct and uncomplicated questions,” Ora Media said.
“He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”
King had Type 2 diabetes and had suffered a number of health problems in recent months, including lung cancer and near-fatal stroke.
Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family.