Larry King - TV-Legend
Larry King was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to the family of Edward Jonaton Zeiger and Jennie (nee Gitlitz) Zeiger, Jewish immigrants who came to America from Belarus, then - part of the newly formed Soviet Union.
King's father died at 46 of a heart attack, and his mother had to go on welfare to support her two sons.King worked to help support his mother and did not go to college. Still, he never relinquished his childhood dream of becoming a radio personality.
King's first job on radio was as a cleaner and general laborer at a small Miami Beach (Florida) radio station WAHR. But when one of their announcers unexpectedly quit on May 1, 1957, King was put on the air as the disc jockey from 9 a.m. to noon, and also did two afternoon newscasts and a sportscast. His salary was $55 a week.
He took the stage name of Larry King when the general manager said that Zeiger was too ethnic and difficult to remember, so Larry chose the first name that he could think of - from a King's Wholesale Liquor ad, just minutes before going on air.
He started doing random interviews for another radio station, the WIOD, at Pumpernik's Restaurant in Miami Beach. One day, singer Bobby Darin, who was on a concert in Miami, walked into restaurant and became King's first celebrity interview guest.
In December 20, 1971, he was arrested after being accused of grand larceny by a former business partner, but later released. The charges were dropped., but King, fired from all of his positions on radio and TV, had to start the career from scratch.
In 1978, King went national, inheriting "Long John" Nebel's nightly talk show on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
He started his cult-like Larry King Live CNN show in June 1985, inviting prominent politicians and leading figures in the entertainment industry, often doing their first or only interview on breaking news stories on his show. He stepped down from his position in 2010, after it had become known that the channel was looking for a replacement and holding talks with controversial British political commentator Piers Morgan...
He also wrote a regular newspaper column in USA Today for two decades, almost for as long as the newspaper existed, and stopped only due to the restructuring of the publication.
He is a notable contributor to charities, for example, donating $1 million to George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs - for scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He is also the founder of the charitable Larry King Cardiac Foundation - he never forgot about his father's death of heart attach, and the difficult heart surgery that he himself had to undergo after heart trouble.
He has been married eight times, to seven women, and has five children from them.
He does not believe in any gods and wants his body to be preserved cryogenically after his death until a medical resurrection becomes possible...
Aliza Davidovit. "Larry King". Jewish Virtual Library.
"Broadcaster's Hall of Fame biography". Achievement.org
"Larry King Biography". WhyFame