TRUTH BE TOLD
OFF THE RECORD ABOUT FAVORITE GUESTS, MEMORABLE MOMENTS, FUNNIEST JOKES, AND A HALF CENTURY OF ASKING QUESTIONS
by Larry King
“Larry, I’m gonna miss ya / If you were a woman, I’d kiss ya.” —STEVIE WONDER
“Television will never be the same.” —BARBARA WALTERS
“In the U.S. mass media, there are many talented and interesting people. But, still, there is just one king there. I don’t ask why he is leaving. But, still, what do you think? We have a right to cry out: ‘Long live the King!’ When will there be another man in the world as popular as you happen to be?” —Russian Prime Minister VLADIMIR PUTIN
“You asked some tough questions over the years, but it was always from the heart, straight, no curveballs. We respect you and love you.” —President GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH
“Don’t move to Israel. You’ll get my job.” —Israeli Prime Minister BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
Growing up on the streets of Depression-era Brooklyn, the son of Russian immigrants, Larry Zeiger became known to millions as Emmy-award winner Larry King, host of CNN’s “Larry King Live,” the first worldwide phone-in television talk show and the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot on the same network in the history of television. Beamed live to 200 countries and territories around the world, King was a broadcaster for more than 50 years and interviewed the most compelling and influential people in the world—major political leaders and cultural luminaries, alike. Now, in TRUTH BE TOLD: Off the Record about Favorite Guests, Memorable Moments, Funniest Jokes, and a Half Century of Asking Questions (Weinstein Books; May 31, 2011; $25.00), he reflects on how much the world has changed around him over the course of his fifty-year career, and he shares inside stories on some of the most fascinating figures of our time.
TRUTH BE TOLD is a candid and surprising look inside the monumental career of one of the most powerful and legendary talk-show hosts as he signs off from the nightly television program that has been close to all of our hearts. In this intimate, funny, revealing, and riveting memoir, Larry King talks frankly about filing for divorce, the 25th anniversary of “Larry King Live,” and for the first time — fighting prostate cancer. He also has a lot to say about marriage, politics, sports, entertainment, the justice system, broadcasting, and the American future.
As if welcoming you to his table at Nate ‘n Al’s for breakfast, consummate storyteller King reveals the process and pattern behind his decision to leave his record-breaking show, what he would do if he had the chance to do it all over again, his feelings about his final broadcast, and a multitude of anecdotes about yesterday and today’s most celebrated people. In TRUTH BE TOLD, written with Cal Fussman, King also discusses:
• The night President Obama, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, and Bill Gates were lined up as guests back to back;
• Why Jerry Seinfeld always stole the clock from his set;
• His very first celebrity interview, broadcasting live from a deli in Miami Beach called Pumpernik’s, with Bobby Darin;
• The day Harry Belafonte changed everything in Miami Beach by quietly insisting that he and his 12 singers and dancers would stay at the “white” hotel where he was performing, until hotel owner Jackie Gleason had to be called; “What kind of bullshit is this? Check him in,” said Jackie;
• The interview he missed — Bruce Springsteen;
• The interview he is asked about most — when Marlon Brando kissed him on the lips;
• Memorable moments with so many; he’s met Bob Marley and Louie Armstrong; Frank Sinatra and Justin Bieber; Bette Davis and Angeline Jolie; Audrey Hepburn and Hilary Swank; Shimon Perez and Ahmadinejad; Gorbachev and Lady Gaga — who both wore suspenders to meet him;
• His reaction, just after completing a show called “The War on Cancer,” when he learned he had prostate cancer;
• The rewards of funding lifesaving cardiac procedures for someone nearly every day through the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which he founded;
• His conversation with the wealthiest man in the world, Carlos Slim, worth an estimated $54 billion at the time, and the dinner at Larry’s home for the devout Yankee fan, with Ernie Banks, Sidney Poitier, Ryan Seacrest, Barry Bonds —and why Larry felt like the richest man on earth that night;
• His thoughts on other famous farewells and departures, from LeBron James, Bill Clinton, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Michael Jordan to Lou Gehrig and George Bush 43;
• The joys of his extended, blended family and of being a 77-year-old father to young boys again (he coaches his sons’ Little League team), and more.
Filled with lively anecdotes and unforgettable behind-the-scenes insights, TRUTH BE TOLD is the story of a cultural icon and an unconventional family man. In TRUTH BE TOLD, Larry King reveals unforgettable stories about so many notables, and also shares the heart, soul, and humor of the irreplaceable man in suspenders.
About the Authors
Larry King is the former host of CNN’s “Larry King Live,” the first worldwide phone-in television talk show and one of the network’s highest-rated programs. An Emmy-award winner and New York Times bestselling author, King founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars and provided lifesaving cardiac procedures for those who otherwise would be unable to receive the medical treatment they require. Since its inception, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation has served more than 700 individuals in the U.S. and abroad.
Cal Fussman is a writer at large for Esquire magazine. Fussman is the author with Larry King of My Remarkable Journey, a New York Times bestseller; the Wall Street Journal bestseller Double or Nothing, and After Jackie, an Entertainment Weekly Pick of the Week.
TRUTH BE TOLD: Off the Record about Favorite Guests, Memorable Moments, Funniest Jokes, and a Half Century of Asking Questions
By Larry King
Laydown date: May 31, 2011