Larry King’s Net Worth & Personal Info


Larry King was a renowned American television and radio host who made an indelible mark on the broadcasting world. He embarked on a prolific career that spanned over six decades. King’s distinctive interviewing style, characterized by his suspenders and gravelly voice, endeared him to global audiences. He was best known for his long-running talk show, “Larry King Live,” which aired on CNN from 1985 to 2010, becoming an iconic platform for in-depth conversations with celebrities, world leaders, and newsmakers.

Content of this Article

  1. Larry King’s Appearance
  2. Facts About Larry King
  3. Larry King’s Net Worth
  4. Early Life
    1. Education
  5. Larry King’s Wife and Family
  6. Larry King’s Career
    1. The Larry King Show
    2. Larry King Live
  7. Larry King’s Controversy

Larry King’s Appearance (Height, Hair, Eyes & More)

Height 5 ft 9 in

1.75 m

Weight 150 pounds

68 kg

Hair Color Brown/Gray
Eye Color Dark Brown
Body Type Average
Sexual Orientation Straight


Facts About Larry King

Nationality American
Estimated Net Worth $50 million
Religion Jewish Agnostic/Atheist
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Birthplace Brooklyn, New York
Birthday November 19, 1933


Larry King’s Net Worth

Larry King's net worth is approximately $50 million at the time of his death

Larry King’s net worth is approximately $50 million at his death. King was most famous for hosting the CNN show “Larry King Live.” He passed away on January 23, 2021, when he was 87.


Early Life

Larry King, originally named Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, entered the world in Brooklyn, New York, on November 19, 1933

Larry King, originally named Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, entered the world in Brooklyn, New York, on November 19, 1933. He was one of two children born to Jennie (maiden name Gitlitz) and Aaron Zeiger.

Jennie was a garment worker from Minsk, part of the Russian Empire, while Aaron worked as a restaurant owner and defense plant worker, hailing from Pinsk, also in the Russian Empire. King’s parents were Orthodox Jews who emigrated from Belarus to the United States in the 1930s.


Larry King went to Lafayette High School, a public school in Brooklyn. When King was nine, his father died from a heart attack. His father’s death deeply impacted him, so he lost interest in schoolwork.

After finishing high school, King worked to assist his mother financially. Ever since he was young, he had a strong desire to pursue a career in radio broadcasting.


Larry King’s Wife and Family

In 1997, Larry King married his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick

Larry King had a total of eight marriages with seven different women. His first marriage was to his high-school sweetheart, Freda Miller, in 1952 when he was just 19 years old. However, their parents intervened, and the marriage was annulled the following year. After that, he briefly married Annette Kaye, who gave birth to their son, Larry Jr., in November 1961. King didn’t meet his son, Larry Jr., until he was in his 30s.

In 1961, King tied the knot with his third wife, Alene Akins, who was a Playboy Bunny. Their wedding took place at one of the Playboy nightclubs. In 1962, King adopted Akins’ son, Andy, but the couple divorced the following year.

Following this, in 1963, King married Mary Francis “Mickey” Sutphin for the fourth time, but their marriage also ended in divorce. King and Akins decided to give their relationship another shot and remarried in 1969. During this second marriage, they had a second child named Chaia. However, their relationship faced difficulties again, and they divorced in 1972.

On September 25, 1976, King married his fifth wife, Sharon Lepore, a mathematics teacher and production assistant. Unfortunately, their marriage ended in divorce in 1983.

In 1989, King met Julie Alexander, a businesswoman. Their relationship moved quickly, with King proposing to her on their very first date on August 1, 1989. She became King’s sixth wife when they married in Washington, D.C., on October 7, 1989. However, their marriage hit a rough patch, and they separated in 1990, ultimately divorcing in 1992.

In 1997, King married his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick, who was born in 1959 as Shawn Ora Engemann. Southwick was a singer, actress, and TV host and the sister of musician Paul Engemann. Their wedding was unique in King’s Los Angeles hospital room three days before he underwent heart surgery to clear a blocked blood vessel.

During their marriage, King and Southwick had two children: Chance, born in March 1999, and Cannon, born in May 2000. Southwick also became a stepfather to Arena Football League quarterback Danny Southwick.

Their relationship faced challenges, and they initially filed for divorce in 2010 but later reconciled. The couple filed for divorce once again on August 20, 2019. At the time of King’s passing in 2021, they were estranged amid divorce proceedings.

King had seven wives throughout his life, and from those marriages, he became a father to five children. In addition to his children, he had nine grandchildren and even four great-grandchildren.


Larry King’s Career

Larry King started conducting interviews on a mid-morning show for WIOD

Larry King’s journey in broadcasting took an unexpected turn when he met a CBS staff announcer. This chance encounter has led him to Florida, a growing hub for the media industry, and had opportunities for newcomers like him.

King followed this advice and landed in Miami, but his start in radio had its share of challenges. He initially secured a job at a small station called WAHR (now WMBM) in Miami Beach. However, his role primarily involved cleaning up and handling miscellaneous tasks around the station.

A stroke of luck came his way when one of the station’s announcers quit. With no one else available, King was thrust onto the airwaves. His debut as a disc jockey occurred on May 1, 1957, when he worked the morning shift from 9 a.m. to noon.

In addition to this, he also tackled two-afternoon newscasts and even delivered a sportscast. For his efforts, King earned a weekly salary of $50. This marked the beginning of his remarkable broadcasting career.

King started conducting interviews on a mid-morning show for WIOD, and he did it in an unconventional location – Pumpernik’s Restaurant in Miami Beach. His approach was simple: he interviewed anyone walking into the restaurant. His very first interview was with one of the restaurant’s waiters.

Just two days later, singer Bobby Darin, who was in Miami for an evening concert, heard about King’s radio show and decided to visit Pumpernik’s. This marked the beginning of King’s celebrity interviews, with Darin becoming his very first famous guest.

King’s radio show in Miami gained him local recognition. A few years later, in May 1960, he hosted “Miami Undercover,” which aired on Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. on WPST-TV Channel 10 (now WPLG).

WIOD, the radio station where he worked, gave King more exposure by appointing him as a color commentator for the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League. He held this position during the 1970 and most of the 1971 seasons.

However, King faced a setback on December 20, 1971, when he was arrested and accused of grand larceny by his former business partner, Louis Wolfson. This incident led to him losing his late-night radio host and sports commentator roles at WIOD and television station WTVJ and his weekly column at the Miami Beach Sun newspaper.

Fortunately, the charges against him were dropped, and WIOD eventually rehired him. During the 1970s, King hosted a sports talk show called “Sports-a-la-King” for several years, where he had various guests and took calls from listeners.

The Larry King Show

"The Larry King Show" was an overnight radio talk show in the United States hosted by Larry King

“The Larry King Show” was an overnight radio talk show in the United States hosted by Larry King. It aired nationally on the Mutual Broadcasting System from January 1978 to May 1994. The show’s format usually involved King interviewing a guest, followed by taking phone calls from listeners who wanted to ask questions or share their thoughts about the guest. Additionally, listeners could call in to discuss any topic of their choice.

King had some regular callers on his show who either used fake names or were given fun nicknames by King himself. For example, there was “The Numbers Guy,” “The Chair,” “The Portland Laugher,” “The Miami Derelict,” and “The Scandal Scooper.” Larry King didn’t just stick to interviews; he entertained his audience with amusing stories from his youth and early broadcasting days.

When the show first started, it had 28 affiliate stations airing it. However, its popularity soared over time, and it was broadcast on more than 500 stations.

King introduced a shorter daytime version of his show in 1993 to lighten his workload. His primary fill-in host, Jim Bohannon, assumed the late-night time slot. After an impressive 16-year run on Mutual, King eventually retired from the program. The last episode of “The Larry King Show” aired on May 27, 1994.

Larry King Live

"Larry King Live" made its debut on CNN in June 1985

“Larry King Live” made its debut on CNN in June 1985. King, the host, welcomed a wide array of guests, ranging from UFO conspiracy theorists and alleged psychics to influential politicians and entertainment industry icons. Many of his guests chose his show for their first or exclusive interviews, especially regarding breaking news stories.

Two particularly memorable moments from the show involved political figures. In 1992, billionaire Ross Perot used the show to announce his presidential candidacy. In 1993, a debate between Al Gore and Perot on Larry King’s show became CNN’s most-watched segment, a record that stood until 2015.

King stood out among interviewers for his straightforward and non-confrontational style. His knack for posing gentle, open-ended questions made him a go-to choice for significant figures who wanted to express their views without facing tough challenges on sensitive subjects. Over his career, he conducted an impressive 30,000 interviews, as reported by CNN.

“Larry King Live” earned the distinction of being “the longest-running television show hosted by the same person, on the same network, and in the same time slot,” a recognition bestowed by the Guinness Book of World Records. After recording a remarkable 6,000 episodes of the show, Larry King retired in 2010.


Larry King’s Controversy

In 2019, King filed a lawsuit against Nate Holzapfel, a contestant on “Shark Tank” and an entrepreneur. King claimed that Holzapfel had misrepresented himself and his intentions when recording a brief interview with King.

Additionally, the interview had been edited without King’s consent to make it seem like Holzapfel had appeared on “Larry King Now.” The legal case was resolved with a default judgment in favor of Larry King. Holzapfel was required to pay fees and $250,000 in damages as part of the judgment.

Net Worth of Other Notable TV Hosts

Jon Stewart’s Net Worth

Jon Stewart, famed American TV host and comedian, gained prominence with his insightful satire on “The Daily Show.” Born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, Stewart started his comedic journey in New York City’s clubs, eventually establishing a multifaceted career as a writer, producer, director, and political commentator. Over the years, he has written books, acted in movies, and even directed a film. Moreover, his confrontational stances with media houses, like CNN and Fox News, spotlighted his commitment to candid journalism and social commentary. With various ventures in entertainment and significant real estate investments, Jon Stewart’s net worth is estimated at $120 million.

Pat Sajak’s Net Worth

Pat Sajak is a renowned American television personality, primarily recognized for hosting the iconic game show “Wheel of Fortune” since 1981. Beginning his broadcasting career as a weatherman, he seamlessly transitioned to become one of America’s most beloved TV hosts. With a career spanning over four decades, Sajak has navigated various roles including a disc jockey during the Vietnam War, a weather reporter for KNBC, and hosting multiple other shows and game shows. His personal life also paints a vivid picture: married to photographer Lesly Brown-Sajak with two children and navigating a recent health scare in 2019. However, Sajak has not been without controversy, with a few on-air incidents causing debates among fans. Outside of television, his real estate ventures include a majestic hillside mansion in Encino, valued at an impressive $5.5 million. All these endeavors have significantly contributed to Pat Sajak’s net worth, which is estimated at $75 million.

What do you think?