October 27, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and others remember Larry King

Broadcaster Larry King is being remembered as a legendary interviewer and thoughtful friend by the many celebrities, politicians and newsmakers who appeared on one of the series of talk shows he hosted over the decades. King died Saturday in Los Angeles after being hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month. He was 87.

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather called King “a friend through thick and thin” on Twitter. “A masterful interviewer and storyteller. He helped put CNN on the map by making news through the art of dialogue.”

Former President Clinton said he was interviewed by King more than 20 times over the years.

King “had a great sense of humor and a genuine interest in people,” Clinton tweeted. “He gave a direct line to the American people and worked hard to get the truth from them, with questions that were direct but fair.”

Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who said he has known King since arriving to L.A. 42 years ago, called the late talk show host “one of the best interviewers on TV.”

“He was the biggest Dodgers fan & if you lived in LA you could catch him at his favorite booth in Nate and Al’s or at [Original] Brooklyn [Water] Bagels which he owned,” Johnson tweeted.

Another sports legend, baseball slugger Barry Bonds, remembered King as a friend who shared his love of the sport. “He was an avid fan and I would often visit him at the ballpark,” Bonds tweeted. “I’ll miss our breakfasts at Jerry’s Deli and his sense of humor.”

In a 15-tweet thread, sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann remembered a moment early in his career when King first reached out 25 years ago. Over an eight-year period, while King tried to get Olbermann a slot at CNN, the two exchanged messages and gifts. In his tweets, Olbermann described King’s thoughtful and genuine nature.

“This is a rare quality in my business. It is a rare quality in life. So think of the easily caricatured TV guy. He was fine with that. But also think of this extraordinary guy who was utterly and unswervingly sincere and appreciative of everybody,” Olbermann tweeted.

Aimee Carrero, an actor on Netflix’s animated series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” recalled King’s search for the perfect bagel while she worked as a waitress at a Beverly Hills restaurant he frequented.

“Larry could never find a great bagel in Los Angeles. This plagued him. He thought about it a lot,” Carrero tweeted. When King opened Original Brooklyn Water Bagel, he invited Carrero to his restaurant.

“After the grand opening, Larry stopped coming around for lunch. Why would he come back? He could have as many Perfect Bagels as he wanted!”

In a statement from Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, of which King had been a member since 1968, president Gabrielle Carteris noted that “over a career of more than six decades, he was equally comfortable on radio, television and digital media, and he never stopped connecting with audiences. His distinctive voice will be sorely missed.”

Others shared their favorite lighthearted interview moments, including King’s attempt at mimicking Sonic the Hedgehog and a segment where actor Danny Pudi shared his favorite luxuries — coffee and socks.

Here are more tributes to King: