“Ah Come-mahhhn!” the Brooklynder said. “This guy with two dollars left to his name; down on his luck; finds himself at a racetrack holding every winning ticket – to win, the exacta, the trifecta – and he collects eight-thousand dollars?” Yep!
This is just one of many suspenseful accounts detailed in a new book by world-renowned talk show host Larry King titled “My Remarkable Journey” (Weinstein Books, 2009).
Born Larry Zeiger, King grew up in and around Brooklyn New York where he developed lifelong friendships with amazing characters who are endearingly mentioned throughout the book. Accounts of their many adventures are so compelling and thrilling that it’s hard to put the book down. For instance, as teenagers a group of them drove over three hours from Brooklyn to New Haven Connecticut just to prove one could buy three scoops of ice cream there for only fifteen cents. The daring story that unfolds is unbelievable!
Married eight times to seven different women, King is now married to a beauty 30 years his junior with whom he has fathered two children. Now at age 75, he identifies with the movie Benjamin Button as he kvells about how his young sons keep him in a state of youthfulness. He has fathered several other children including Larry King Jr. whom he knew nothing about until the son was 33 years old.
His career took off in radio after moving to Florida. He tells of the early days interviewing and developing friendships with the likes of Jackie Gleason, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and a host of others. It becomes increasingly clear that King’s first love is being behind the microphone.
His first run-in with presidential matters was having an auto accident with then Senator John F. Kennedy. Since then he has interviewed and been friends with every president beginning with Richard Nixon. His interviews of the famous, the infamous, and the not so famous, have tallied to about forty thousand.
King’s life took many turns – the highs and the lows – but then came a big blow. The details of the pain, the fear, the uncertainty after suffering a heart attack, and having to face going through open heart surgery are breathtaking.
There’s also the interesting story of how Ted Turner tapped him, and how King helped take the groundbreaking CNN channel from the so-called “Chicken Noodle News” to the world force that it is today. One of the many highlights of his long and enduring tenure was the intensity surrounding a call for him to interview Osama Bin Laden after 911 (this is a must read!)!!
When I first heard King on CNN self-promoting “My Remarkable Journey” I thought, just how remarkable a life could this straight-laced-looking talk show host have had? Boy was I surprised! Even King himself expresses his own disbelief from one adventure to the next as he would often think, “What am I doing here!?”
Fraught with humor, this book combines all the properties of religion, royalty, sex, and mystery much like the story of the short essay a student once wrote combining those same properties: “My God said the Queen; the Princess is pregnant. Who did it!?”
In the end however, the one thing readers will get from this book is King’s remarkable love and devotion to his many loved ones and friends.
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” (Steuben Pub) www.amazon.com. Available at Smiley’s Bookstore in Carson CA, Chaucer’s in Santa Barbara CA, and Shantinique’s in Detroit MI. Visit the author at www.editorialbylarry.com. (213) 220-8101