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Atiku, Cuomo, others mourn Larry King

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Tributes, yesterday, poured in for the legendary talk show host and former CNN interviewer, Larry King, who died in the early hours of Saturday, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was hospitalised.

His death is coming five months after his two children died within weeks of each other. His son, 65-year-old Andy King, passed away of a heart attack in late July, followed by his 52-year-old daughter, Chaia King, who died in August shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, in a tweet on his verified twitter handle shortly after King’s passage wrote: “Larry King was indeed the king of broadcasting. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

CNN President, Jeff Zucker said: “We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King. The scrappy young man from Brooklyn 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.

“We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage.

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From our CNN family to Larry’s, we send our thoughts and prayers, and a promise to carry on his curiosity for the world in our work.”

SAG-AFTRA President, Gabrielle Carteris, who tweeted on behalf of the actors union, said: “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.

“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. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.”

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The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, described the deceased as 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.”

Aged 87, King died in the early hours of yesterday, after several weeks of battling COVID-19.

King’s official Twitter, which announced his demise yesterday morning did not mention the cause of his death, but King’s death came weeks after it was revealed that the 87-year-old host was battling coronavirus.

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“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.”

King, who has Type 2 diabetes, has confronted a series of medical issues over the years, including several heart attacks and quintuple bypass surgery in 1987.

In 2017, King revealed he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it. He also underwent a procedure in 2019 to address angina.

His own medical issues inspired him to start the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, a non-profit aimed at helping those without health insurance afford medical care.

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King hosted CNN’s “Larry King Live” for 25 years, interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people. He retired in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of the show. But he couldn’t stay off the airwaves for long.

In 2012, he became the host of “Larry King Now,” a thrice-weekly show on Ora TV, an on-demand digital network he co-founded with Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim, according to Forbes.

The Brooklyn-born King began his career in the late 1950s as a newspaper journalist and Miami DJ before expanding his radio repertoire to celebrity interviews and sporting event commentary. In 1978, King launched his nationwide Larry King Show broadcast, which he continued to host even after his Larry King Live television show began airing on CNN in 1985.

Equally adept at interviewing celebrities, politicians, conspiracy theorists, psychics and other newsmakers, King’s CNN show aired nightly from June 1985 to December 2010, with guests ranging from U.S. presidents and Vladimir Putin to Frank Zappa and Prince.

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