Legendary talk and radio show host Larry King died at age 87 on Saturday, January 23, Closer can confirm. The Larry King Live star was hospitalized for COVID-19 on January 2.

“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,” King’s rep said in a statement to Closer.

The statement continued, “For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster. Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience.”

“Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions,” the statement added. “He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”

Finally, the statement from King’s Twitter noted that his 25 years of interviews across three programs — CNN’s Larry King Live, Ora Media’s Larry King Now and Politicking With Larry King — are “consistently referenced by media outlets around the world and remain part of the historical record of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.”

The Brooklyn-born TV personality (real name: Lawrence Harvey Zeiger) battled several health problems over the years, including type-2 diabetes and prostate cancer. He also suffered several heart attacks, which prompted him to create the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to provide financial assistance to those without medical insurance after undergoing quintuple bypass surgery in 1987.

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In 2020, King suffered immense personal loss when two of his adult children — he is a father of five — died within weeks of one another. His son Andy, 65, died of a heart attack and daughter Chaia, 51, passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He is survived by sons Larry King Jr., Cannon Edward King and Chance Armstrong King, as well as estranged wife Shawn Southwick, from whom he filed for divorce in 2019.

King’s career in broadcasting began in 1957, when he took a job as a radio host at WAHR-AM in Miami, Florida. It was then that he changed his last name from Zeiger to King.