Larry King To Receive Lifetime Achievement Emmy

By Alex Weprin 

Former CNN “Larry King Live” host Larry King will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. King hosted his eponymous CNN program from 1985 until last year, when he retired and made room for Piers Morgan to take over at 9 PM. He continues to host quarterly specials for the channel.

“Larry King changed the landscape of cable television, and television news in general,” NATAS said in a statement.”King’s show was a must-stop for presidents and politicians, and gave viewers direct access to some of the most important and influential people in the United States and the world.”

King will accept the award at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, to be held September 26 in New York.

The full announcement from NATAS, after the jump.


New York, N.Y. – July 7, 2011 –Broadcasting legend and cable news icon Larry King will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) at the 32nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards. The award will be presented on September 26, 2011 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, located in the Time Warner Center in New York City.

King is being honored for his influential 50-year broadcasting career, and his 25 years as host of CNN’s top-rated Larry King Live. King set the Guinness world record for the longest-running television show hosted by the same person, on the same network and in the same time slot.

For a quarter of a century, Larry King Live has covered every major news story, reported on national and world events, and interviewed the most prominent personalities in politics and popular culture. King’s show was a must-stop for presidents and politicians, and gave viewers direct access to some of the most important and influential people in the United States and the world. From the White House to Graceland, from the beaches of Normandy to New York’s Ground Zero, from inside the boxing ring with Mike Tyson to the basketball court with LeBron James, King took his viewers on a remarkable, first-hand journey with him.

King has interviewed more than 50,000 people over the course of his career, including some of the most prominent names in politics, business, entertainment, sports, medicine and religion. Mike Wallace had this to say about King’s interviewing style, “…you’re so damn good at it.” The remarkable range of King’s guests, and the wide variety of topics discussed on his show, are a tribute to King’s skill and versatility as an interviewer. Every President since Richard Nixon has appeared on King’s show, and his celebrity guests are too many to name, ranging from Marlon Brando to the surviving Beatles to Lady Gaga. It wasn’t who Larry had on his show; the short list was who he didn’t have on the show.

Larry King Live debuted on CNN in 1985, and its success helped build a mass audience for cable news. Before joining CNN, King was the host of a popular nationally syndicated radio show, The Larry King Show. King was one of the first talk show hosts to bring the radio call-in format to TV. His informal, conversational interview style attracted a wide range of guests and resulted in candid and revealing conversations. Bill Maher described Larry King as “the master of getting people to open up and tell their story.”

Larry King Live frequently made news, and occasionally made history: Ross Perot famously announced his candidacy for President on the show. In 1993 King hosted the NAFTA debate between Perot and then Vice President Al Gore, which at the time was the highest rated broadcast in CNN’s history. King has his finger on the pulse of current events, with interviews including PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadiniead, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and Colin Powell .

Larry King Live was famous for covering what people were talking about around the world; from the O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson trials, to four months of straight coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, to more than 500 shows on the latest medical information from cell phone safety, to cancer and depression.

King has used his program as a vehicle to help raise awareness and money for worthwhile causes, including hosting telethons for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast Oil Spill and the Haiti earthquake. Off air, King has given time and money to charitable organizations. King founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988, which has raised over $15 million, providing life-saving cardiac procedures for more than 1500 people, and 10,000 heart screenings for needy children and adults. King also established a $1 million journalism scholarship at George Washington University’s School of Media and affairs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Larry King came into peoples’ homes every night for half a century, and for the past 25 years was a dominant force in cable news programming. With his global reach on radio and television, his unmatched roster of guests and topics, and his authentic engagement with his listeners and viewers, Larry King changed the landscape of cable television, and television news in general. King stepped down as host of Larry King Live in December of 2010, but continues to host specials for CNN. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is honored to pay tribute to Larry King for his remarkable, influential, and ongoing career.

King is married to singer/actress Shawn Southwick-King, and is the father of Andy, Larry Jr., Chaia, Chance and Cannon and stepfather to Danny Southwick.

The News & Documentary Emmy Awards are annually attended by more than 1,000 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists. Emmy® Awards are presented in 41 categories, including Breaking News, Investigative Reporting, Outstanding Interview, and Best Documentary, among others.

About The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy® Award for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime Entertainment, Daytime Creative Arts & Entertainment, Public & Community Service, and Technology & Engineering. Regional Emmy® Awards are given in 19 regions across the United States. NATAS also presents the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Global Media Awards™ which recognizes excellence in the world-wide intersection of digital entertainment and technology. Emmy® Awards given out for primetime programming are presented by our sister organization, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). Beyond awards, NATAS has extensive educational programs including National Student Television and its Student Award for Excellence for outstanding journalistic work by high school students, as well as scholarships, publications, and major activities for both industry professionals and the viewing public. For more information, please visit the website at