Larry King ‘Is Fixated on Dying’

By Mark Joyella 

In an interview with Mark Leibovich appearing in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, former CNN host Larry King talks a lot about death–his own. ‘‘If my wife is late for my funeral, I will be very angry.’’

Leibovich, who struck up a friendship with King, says the iconic interviewer thinks often of his funeral:

King is fixated on dying. Everyone is, to some degree, but not like him. Shawn King, his seventh wife, told me that Larry talks so much about his demise that he started to upset their teenage sons, and she had to tell him to knock it off. ‘‘He kept saying, ‘Listen, I’m not going to be around much longer, boys,’ ’’ Shawn said.

King’s CNN show, Larry King Live, ended in 2010 after 25 years. Leibovich learned King would be happy to talk about any of his famous interviews, his health, and his current gig hosting an online show on Ora TV–but the writer was warned to avoid one name:

No topic between King and me was off-limits except one: Piers Morgan. King’s publicist, Jen Hobbs, requested that I refrain from asking King anything about the host who succeeded him on CNN. Things had become ornery between King and Morgan, whose own show was canceled last year. King said in an interview with Howard Stern that watching Morgan flame out in his slot was like when ‘‘your mother-in-law goes over the cliff in your new car.’’ Morgan then called King a ‘‘poisonous twerp’’ and a ‘‘graceless, petty little man’’ on Twitter.