Best Known For
In addition to his career of talk show host on Larry King Live, Larry King has appeared as himself in several movies and television shows.
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Larry King was born November 19, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. In 1978 he started a nightly coast-to-coast radio talk show, The Larry King Show, on the Mutual Radio Network. This work caught the attention of Ted Turner, who hired King to host his own talk show, Larry King Live, on CNN in 1985. In J2010, King announced he'd be ending his reign as host after 25 years.
Television personality. Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger on November 19, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to Jewish immigrants Edward Zeiger, a bar owner, and Jennie Gitlitz, a garment worker. When Larry was 9 years old, his father died of heart disease. His father was only 44 years old. Larry's mother had to go on welfare to support Larry and his younger brother, Marty. From an early age, Larry dreamed of a career in radio, but Edward's death greatly affected Larry's emotional stability, causing him to lose interest in school. He barely finished high school, and had little prospect of having a steady career. At this time, he went to work as a mail clerk to help support his mother.
A chance meeting with a CBS television announcer set Larry Zeiger on the pathway to a career in radio. The announcer told Larry to go to Florida, a state with a growing media market that was hiring inexperienced broadcasters. Zeiger got his first break on Miami radio station WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach. Initially, the job was to clean up the station and perform odd jobs. But when one of their announcers quit in May of 1957, Zeiger was put on to replace him. He must have impressed his manager, because King was immediately put on the 9:00 AM to noon shift. He also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. Doing all this while receiving a $55 a week salary, made the young Larry feel he was fulfilling his long-time dream.
Larry Zeiger acquired the name Larry King when the station's general manager told him Zeiger was too ethnic, and hard to remember. Minutes before he was to go on air, inspired by an advertisement for King's Wholesale Liquor, he chose the name King. King soon found popularity in the South Florida radio scene. In 1960, he premiered his first program on Miami television and built up a strong local following, adding a newspaper column in the entertainment sections of the Miami Herald and Miami News to his radio and television duties. During the 1960s, he entered the sphere of television legend Jackie Gleason, who was producing a national television variety show in Miami Beach at the time. King later credited Gleason for teaching him much about television production, and called him a mentor.
In December 1971, Larry King was charged with grand larceny by a former business partner, which immediately led to the loss of his broadcast and newspaper jobs. He was acquitted of all charges in 1972, but was deeply in debt and publicly disgraced. Over the next several years he worked to rebuild his career, writing magazine articles and working in West Coast radio.
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