Larry King, a pioneer of the media whose influence cannot be overstated, passed away last week at the age of 87. RT America will broadcast his final interview, conducted by his friend, veteran journalist Rick Sanchez.
King’s passing followed the loss of his son Andy to a fatal heart attack in July, and of his daughter Chaia to lung cancer in August.
The entire field of broadcast media is shaped to its core by the gold standard that Larry established, and the debt owed to him by all practitioners of his craft can never be repaid in full.
He attained national prominence as host of The Larry King Show, taking calls from listeners across the country and giving every last caller a fair hearing; he challenged them, he consoled them, and by making space for everyone’s perspective, he enlightened his whole audience.
While he would go on to interview countless world leaders and superstars, Larry held every one of his innumerable callers and guests in equal esteem, and treated each with the basic kindness and respect that is too rare in our disturbed and volatile media landscape.
For decades, he perfected the art of the interview as awards and accolades piled higher and higher.
He won the Peabody Award for Excellence in broadcasting for his work in both television and radio, 10 CableACE awards for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series, the Golden Mike Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California, and numerous other awards as well as several honorary degrees from the likes of Brooklyn College, CUNY and Bradley University. In 1989, King was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Talkers Magazine named him the top television talk show host of all time.
He continued to follow his passion until the very end, hosting PoliticKing and Larry King Now on RT America. He frequently remarked on our network’s commitment to our presenters’ absolute freedom in the opinions they express, in whom they are allowed to criticize, and in the questions they may ask.
It’s fitting that Larry found his home at RT America. Someone like him; one whose long, illustrious life and monumental career were built by an endless succession of questions, finds his perfect place among those who always “Question More.”
We in turn, were honored to bask in his brilliance during his final shows, as his patience, dignity and wit continued to sparkle, even in the twilight of his years. In Larry’s work with RT America, he wielded the engaging and approachable style, honed through decades of broadcasting experience, that made him a true living legend.
In his own immortal words: “I’ve never learned anything by talking. It’s important to listen.”
The genius of Larry’s method lies in just that: the simple, human act of listening. With his passing, the world is that much less willing to listen. But the sensitivity and candor he displayed to the world in broadcast after broadcast, over the course of his long and storied career, is impossible to extinguish. The impression he’s made on our culture will forever remain.
Tune in to RT America at 2pm Eastern (1900 GMT), for the never-before-heard insights from a remarkable life and career. The program will also be aired at 3pm (2000 GMT) and 5pm Eastern (2200 GMT).
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