The Secrets of Success: How Larry King Got Famous

Larry King was a legendary broadcaster who hosted the popular television show “Larry King Live” for over 25 years. He was known for his conversational style of interviewing and ability to make even the most controversial guests feel at ease. Throughout his career, King interviewed numerous celebrities, politicians, athletes, and world leaders, including every U.S. president since Richard Nixon.

King’s success was not achieved overnight. His rise to fame was the result of hard work, perseverance, and a unique approach to interviewing that set him apart from other journalists. Today, we will take a closer look at the secrets of Larry King’s success and what aspiring journalists can learn from his life and career.

Early Life and Career

Larry King was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933. He grew up in a poor Jewish family and lost his father when he was only nine years old. Despite the financial struggles he faced growing up, King was determined to succeed in life.

His broadcasting career began in Miami, Florida, where he worked as a disc jockey for a local radio station. He eventually moved on to television, hosting a local talk show called “Miami Undercover.”

The Larry King Live Show

In 1985, King began hosting “Larry King Live” on CNN. The show became an instant hit, thanks in part to the quality of guests he attracted. Over the years, King interviewed everyone from Hollywood stars like Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra to world leaders like Nelson Mandela and Vladimir Putin.

What set King apart from other interviewers was his conversational style of questioning. He would often begin interviews with a simple question, such as “How are you?” or “Tell me about yourself.” This approach put his guests at ease and allowed for more honest and compelling conversations.

King’s Interviewing Techniques

One of the secrets to King’s success as an interviewer was his preparation. He would spend hours researching his guests and their backgrounds to ensure that he was well-informed and able to ask insightful questions.

Another important technique King used was relationship-building. He understood the importance of making his guests feel comfortable and respected, which allowed for more open and honest conversations.

Challenges and Setbacks

Despite his success, King faced several challenges and setbacks throughout his career. He struggled with personal issues, including divorce and battles with addiction. He also faced professional setbacks, such as declining ratings for his show and criticism for some of his interviews.

However, King was able to overcome these challenges through his determination and refusal to give up. He continued to work hard and adapt to changes in the industry, ultimately becoming one of the most successful broadcasters in history.

Achievements and Awards

King’s achievements are numerous and impressive. He won numerous awards throughout his career, including two Peabody Awards and an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2011, he was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.

In addition to his awards, King’s contributions to the industry have had a lasting impact. His conversational style of interviewing has been emulated by countless broadcasters and journalists, and his influence on the field of journalism cannot be overstated.


Larry King passed away in January 2021 at the age of 87. His legacy, however, lives on. The lessons he taught throughout his life and career continue to inspire and motivate people around the world.

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