Host Bio - Larry King

larrykingLarry King is a CNN anchor and the former host of CNN’s “Larry King Live”. In December 2010, King hung up his suspenders and ended the nightly program he hosted for 25 years. He currently hosts four primetime specials for CNN each year.

Over the course of his historic career, Larry has done more than 50,000 interviews with newsmakers from all walks of life. With his unique, conversational approach to interviewing, he changed not only the landscape of cable television, but television news in general and became the domineering force in primetime news programming. As the Emmy Award-winning host of what was CNN's highest-rated program, King has been dubbed "the most remarkable talk-show host on TV ever" by TV Guide and "master of the mic" by TIME magazine.

In June of 1985, as King made the transition from his successful national radio talk show to cable, he helped define the future of cable news programming and CNN. The program featured phone calls and e-mails from viewers around the world. In June 1994, King created the first daily radio/TV talk show by simulcasting CNN's Larry King Live on Mutual/Westwood One radio stations nationwide.

King’s interviews include exclusive sit-downs with every U.S. president since Gerald Ford. The famed NAFTA debate between then-Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot in 1993 smashed cable industry ratings records and obtained the highest rating in CNN history - reaching more than 16.3 million viewers. In 1995, King showcased his extraordinary skill in international arena when he hosted a historic hour on the Middle East Peace process with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. King's award-winning jailhouse interviews include convicted murderers Sante Kimes and her son, Kenneth; Karla Faye Tucker, the first woman to be executed in Texas; and Mike Tyson.

In 2010, King pulled together a celebrity telethon just days after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, showing viewers around the world how they could contribute time, resources and money. The two-hour international broadcast, “Haiti: How You Can Help,” brought in close to $10 million. During the summer of 2010, King helped bring attention and relief to the victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill with another two-hour “How You Can Help” program, which raised millions of dollars for various charities.

After Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, Larry King Live broadcast for 20 consecutive nights. His post-disaster programming included interviews with more than 250 guests and a live, three-hour network special "How You Can Help." During the 2003 Iraq invasion, King hosted live shows for 29 consecutive nights. After the Sept. 11 attacks, King interviewed more than 700 guests, including more than 35 world leaders and dignitaries.

Described as the "Muhammad Ali of the broadcast interview," King has been inducted into five of the nation's leading broadcasting halls of fame and is the recipient of the prestigious Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism.

In September 2011, he was awarded an Emmy and a Life Time Achievement Award at the News & Documentary Emmy’s.

Larry’s radio and television shows have won the George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. He has won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview/Interviewer and 10 CableACE awards for Best Interviewer and for best Talk Show Series. King won the prestigious Gracie Allen Award twice by American Women in Radio and Television for his interviews with Melanie Bloom, widow of NBC's David Bloom (2006), and Nellie Connally, a former Texas first lady (2002).

In 2002, King received two New York Festival Awards for his Sept. 11 coverage and for his interview with Sir Paul McCartney. Larry was also selected to be an Olympic Torch bearer for the 2002 Winter Games. He also received the Unity Award for excellence in public affairs, reporting on minority issues from Lincoln University of Missouri and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Public Service Award for his programming on depression in 2001.

In 2000, King received Harvard University’s Mahoney Award for increasing public awareness about neuroscience, and the March of Dimes' Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award for his efforts on behalf of community volunteerism.

He was also crowned Bacchus XXXIII at the 2001 Mardi Gras in New Orleans and was presented the key to the city.

In celebration of his 40th anniversary in the broadcasting industry, Hollywood honored King in 1997 with a star on the Walk of Fame for his life’s work. In 2006, Promax/BDA awarded Larry with their Television Century Award and the Los Angeles Press Club honored him with its President's Award.

In 1996, the American Academy of Achievement honored him with the Golden Plate Award for his life's work in the broadcasting industry. In 1994, he received the Scopus Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University, and in 1993, the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts named King "Talk Show Host of the Year." He has received honorary degrees from George Washington University, the New England Institute of Technology, Brooklyn College and the Pratt Institute.

King has made cameo appearances in more than 20 movies, including Ghostbusters, Primary Colors, America's Sweethearts, Shrek 2 and the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives. King has appeared in television series such as Law and Order, Boston Legal, The Practice, Arli$$, Murphy Brown and Frasier.

Before broadcasting to an international audience, King was a popular media personality in Miami where he hosted interview programs for WIOD-Radio and WTVJ-TV. From 1978-1994, King’s voice was heard by millions of radio listeners on Mutual Radio's The Larry King Show.

In addition to his broadcast credits, King founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988, which has raised over $15 million and provided life-saving cardiac procedures for more than 1500 people and provided 100,000 heart screenings for needy children and adults. King also established a $1 million journalism scholarship at George Washington University’s School of Media and Affairs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

King is married to television host/singer/actress Shawn Southwick-King and is the father of Andy, Larry Jr., Chaia, Chance and Cannon and stepfather to Danny Southwick.