In a recent episode of The School of Greatness podcast, host Lewis Howes interviewed legendary television and radio host Larry King about the staggering 60,000 interviews he’s conducted over the course of his lifetime. 60,000 interviews. A bit hard to fathom, but as King says, “I’ve interviewed everybody.” Sitting for so many decades with royalty, heroes, celebrities, sports icons, international leaders, 8 US presidents and everyday people like you and me, King has run the full gamut of the human experience and weighed in on 6 decades of international affairs. He’s a time capsule and a superb storyteller who lends respect and dignity to all who sit his opposite. I wanna be like Larry when I grow up. I want to impart a fraction of his impact.
As I listen to his memories of having been raised in the golden age of radio and then experiencing the later transition into television broadcasting, I smile knowing that he links me to my great-grandparents, my grandparents, my parents, my own generation and our newest batch of young people. Through his interviews, he reminds me that everyone’s story is extraordinary, valid and worthy of a listen. As a writer I’m deeply moved by the path of excellence he’s blazed, having left such a swath of value, depth, respect, quality and reverence for the stories of us... people.
He reminds me to ask questions, to stay curious, to remain humble, and perhaps the greatest lesson he imparts… to listen. Says King, "I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening."
What a life the bespectacled Brooklyn native has lived and what a legacy he continues to leave. At 82 he’s prolific as ever, interviewing everyone from Sir Anthony Hopkins to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Betty White and the Dalai Lama on his Larry King Now Ora.TV show online.
I invite you to listen to The School of Greatness podcast interview with Larry, Episode 361. It's good. And check him out on Larry King Now - also good. His legacy of 60,000+ interviews, having born witness to the lives of so many human stories throughout 6 agonizing and ecstatic decades has me wondering what mark I want to leave on this joint. He set an unreachable bar, but I'm gonna stand on my tiptoes and see how high I can strive. In the end, perhaps that's all that really matters.