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Larry King, legendary US talk show host, dies aged 87

Larry King, the legendary American talk show host, has died at the age of 87.

He passed away on Saturday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, according to Ora Media, the network he co-founded.

Although the cause of his death was not announced, CNN had previously reported that he had been hospitalised with COVID-19.

King conducted thousands of interviews of presidents, world leaders, celebrities and everyday people, and was a presence in American broadcast media for over 60 years.

“He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief,” the Ora Media statement said.

King started out as a radio broadcaster in Florida in the 1950s. His nationwide call-in show in the 1980s would eventually be carried by more than 250 affiliates, claiming a weekly audience of between three and five million.

From 1985 to 2010, King hosted a television show on CNN called “Larry King Live” that had more than 6,000 episodes.

He won several awards for his work including two Peabody awards and one Emmy. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

King conducted thousands of interviews and was known for booking hard-to-get guests including Marlon Brando, who kissed King on air in 1994. He also interviewed singer Frank Sinatra, who rarely did interviews.

King said that actor Jackie Gleason had gotten Sinatra to do his three-hour radio show in the 1960s for the first time. In 1988, King eventually did Sinatra’s last television interview.

He interviewed everyone from US presidents to the world’s most notorious dictators. He called Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi “the worst” person to interview.

King was born in 1933 in Brooklyn, NY, which is where he grew up.

This story is being updated.

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