Larry King celebrates 45 years in broadcasting
'King of Talk' will write column for AOL, CNN.com
(CNN) -- He's been described as the "Muhammad Ali of the broadcast interview" and dubbed a "master of the mike," but to scores of listeners his name's just Larry -- Larry King. And Wednesday marks the 45th anniversary of the talk show host's debut in broadcasting.
King's career in broadcasting has taken him from his roots in Brooklyn, New York, to a popular radio show in Miami, Florida, to radio syndication in hundreds of markets from Mutual Broadcasting's Washington, D.C. studios.
In 1985, he became the host of CNN's "Larry King Live," CNN's highest-rated program, where he has interviewed headline-grabbers such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Yasser Arafat, Oprah Winfrey, Sting, and thousands of others.
With his 45th anniversary, King -- the author of a dozen books -- is launching his first exclusive online column, "King's Things," this week. The column will showcase thoughts and observations from King and be available on CNN.com and America Online (AOL).
When it began, "Larry King Live" was the first worldwide phone-in television talk show. "King's Things" will highlight the TV show, subjects related to the news, his personal interests, must-read books and inside scoops from the worlds of celebrity and politics, in King's familiar rat-a-tat-tat style.
He'll have no shortage of "things" to write about.
Since his start May 1, 1957, King has conducted more than 40,000 interviews. His guests have included all living American presidents, as well as their wives. His show has been a prominent stop for many political figures from across the party spectrum -- Democrats, Republicans, and, of course, independent Ross Perot (who appeared numerous times during his 1992 and 1996 presidential runs, and appeared opposite then-Vice President Al Gore in 1993 to debate NAFTA).
In 2001, following the tragic attacks of September 11, King interviewed more than 700 guests, including nearly 40 key world leaders and dignitaries. In 2000, King's 37 consecutive days of political coverage during the election recount in Florida featured 348 guests, including George W. and Laura Bush and Al and Tipper Gore. Respective vice presidential candidates Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman gave King their first interviews after being selected as presidential running mates.
King has won numerous awards during his career, including the prestigious Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting, and a News and Documentary Emmy Award for outstanding Interview/Interviewer. He even has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
King, 68, has also invested time and money in philanthropic endeavors. He received Harvard University's Mahoney Award for increasing public awareness about neuroscience and the March of Dimes' Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for his volunteer efforts.
He founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which gives grants to people to help defray the costs of treatment for their heart disease. King also recently established a $1 million journalism scholarship at George Washington University's School of Media and Affairs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
King is the father of five and grandfather of three.
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