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Larry King’s devastated wife says TV legend died of sepsis aged 87 after beating Covid

Larry King‘s wife Shawn has claimed the TV icon died of sepsis and was ‘ready to go’.

The legendary late-night host died on Saturday aged 87 after a recent battle with Covid which saw him hospitalized.

King’s seventh wife Shawn Southwick, whom he married in 1997 and was in the midst of a divorce with at the time of his death, says he could not overcome an infection after beating coronavirus.

Larry King’s wife Shawn has claimed the TV icon died of sepsis and was ‘ready to go’ after a recent battle with Covid (pictured in 1997)

The legendary late-night host died on Saturday aged 87 but his cause of death has not been officially revealed

The legendary late-night host died on Saturday aged 87 but his cause of death has not been officially revealed

She told Entertainment Tonight: ‘It was an infection, it was sepsis. Well, he was finally ready to go, I will tell you that.

‘You know, he never wanted to go but his sweet little body was just, it had just been hit so many times with so many things and once we heard the word Covid, all of our hearts just sank.

‘But he beat it, you know, he beat it, but it did take its toll and then the unrelated infection finally is what took him, but boy, he was not gonna go down easily.’

Shawn said she was thankful she was able to speak with Larry, the father of her sons Chance, 21, and Cannon, 20, on video call before his death.

King married his seventh wife Shawn Southwick (pictured together in 2018) in 1997 but the couple were in the middle of a divorce at the time of his death

King married his seventh wife Shawn Southwick (pictured together in 2018) in 1997 but the couple were in the middle of a divorce at the time of his death

Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later, the company said

His production company, Ora Media, which he co-founded with ex-wife Shawn in 2012, confirmed his death in a statement on Saturday

She added the presenter was eager to tell his family, which also included his eldest child Larry Jr. from a previous marriage, that he loved them.  

Larry had filed for divorce from Shawn in August 2019, nine years after they originally split before reconciling.

But she claims they were life partners and their divorce was never finalized. 

Larry had two other children, Andy and Chaia, but they tragically passed away weeks apart last summer aged 65 and 51 respectively.

King’s production company announced his death in a statement on Saturday.  

King is pictured with sons Cannon and Chance on Thanksgiving last November. King was reportedly moved out of the ICU on January 4 after being hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than 10 days, according to reports

King is pictured with sons Cannon and Chance on Thanksgiving last November. King was reportedly moved out of the ICU on January 4 after being hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than 10 days, according to reports

‘With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,’ the company said.

‘Ora Media sends our condolences to his surviving children Larry, Jr., Chance, Cannon and the entire King family.’  

No cause of death has yet been given, but it came three weeks after King was revealed to have been hospitalized with coronavirus 10 days earlier. 

He was reported to have been transferred out of the ICU on January 4, but had remained in hospital for treatment.    

Shawn (pictured in 2014) said she was thankful she was able to speak with Larry, the father of her sons Chance, 21, and Cannon, 20, on video call before his death

Shawn (pictured in 2014) said she was thankful she was able to speak with Larry, the father of her sons Chance, 21, and Cannon, 20, on video call before his death

King is believed to have caught the virus from a health care worker visiting his home, a source told NBC. One of his sons, who has not been named, has also tested positive, they said.

His advanced age and poor health placed him at elevated risk. He had suffered numerous health issues in the past, including a heart attack, prostate and lung cancer, a stroke, and type two diabetes.   

Despite his ailing health, he had continued hosting weekly talk show, Politicking with Larry King, until his death. 

Larry had filed for divorce from Shawn in August 2019, nine years after they originally split before reconciling (pictured in 2010)

Larry had filed for divorce from Shawn in August 2019, nine years after they originally split before reconciling (pictured in 2010)

‘For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster,’ Ora Media said. 

‘Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family, who ask for their privacy at this time.’ 

Described as the ‘Muhammad Ali of the broadcast interview’, King conducted over 50,000 high-profile talks with presidents, world leaders, Hollywood royalty and sports stars during the course of his career that spanned over six decades. 

He was also known for his string of high-profile romances and unsuccessful marriages, eight in total to seven different women, including Playboy Bunny Alene Akins. 

THE HIGH-PROFILE ROMANCES AND UNSUCCESSFUL MARRIAGES OF LARRY KING

Larry was known for his string of high-profile romances and unsuccessful marriages, eight in total to seven different women. 

In his 1982 autobiography, Larry King described himself as a great date, but a lousy husband. Part of his problem was due to an abiding need to be seen with models and celebrated beauties. 

1. FREDA MILLER (1952-1953; annulled)

King’s first walk down the aisle was with his high school sweetheart Freda Miller at 18, but the union was annulled the following year at the behest of her parents.

2. ANNETTE KAYE (1961-1961) 
King then married his second wife, Annette Kaye in 1961 but they separated within months. 

Their relationship was brief but fruitful and resulted in a son that King didn’t meet until 33 years later. 

‘I knew there was a Larry King Jr out there, I’d heard that, but I didn’t know he was mine. The marriage was very short and she told me if it’s a boy, I’m gonna name him Larry King Jr,’ explained the elder King to The New York Post in 2009. ‘Then I never heard again.’  

3. ALENE AKINS (1961-1963) (1967-1972) 

Larry King (right) stands with Playboy Bunny Alene Akins

Larry King (right) stands with Playboy Bunny Alene Akins

Shortly after his relationship with Kaye was over, King went on to marry Playboy Bunny Alene Akins with whom he adopted a son named Andy and had a daughter named Chaia.

King and Akins separated after a couple of years, only to remarry again in 1967 and divorce for a second, final time in 1972.

4. MARY ‘MICKEY’ SUTPHIN  

During his four-year separation from Akins, King found time to wed his fourth wife, Mary ‘Mickey’ Sutphin, with whom he had a daughter named Kelly. 

Kelly was later formally adopted by Sutphin’s second husband.

5. SHARON LEPORE (1976-1983) 

Larry King and fifth wife Sharon Lepore

Larry King and fifth wife Sharon Lepore 

In 1976 King tied the knot with a former math teacher and production assistant named Sharon Lepore. 

The union lasted seven years, making it King’s second longest marriage to date. 

Two years into the marriage King declared bankruptcy, owing more than $300,000. He and Sharon were divorced in 1982. 

6. JULIE ALEXANDER (1989-1992) 

Larry King is pictured with his sixth wife (and seventh marriage), Julie Alexander in 1990

Larry King is pictured with his sixth wife (and seventh marriage), Julie Alexander in 1990

He remained single for a long stretch of six years between his sixth and seventh marriage to Philadelphia-based businesswoman Julie Alexander. 

In the summer of 1989, King met Julie  and proposed on the very first date. They married three months later, were separated by 1990 and formally divorced two years later. ‘I love being in love,’ he told Anderson Cooper in a 2009 interview.

7. SHAWN SOUTHWICK (1997-2019) 

King was last married to Shawn Southwick, with whom he shares two sons, Chance and Cannon

King was last married to Shawn Southwick, with whom he shares two sons, Chance and Cannon

In 1997, King married his seventh and last wife, Shawn Southwick – a singer, actress and TV host that was 26-years his junior. 

The couple married in a Los Angeles hospital room three days before King underwent heart surgery to clear a clogged blood vessel. They welcomed two sons, Chance, born March 1999, and Cannon, born May 2000.

On their tenth wedding anniversary in 2007, Southwick joked that she was ‘the only wife to have lasted into the two digits.’ Three years later, the couple filed for divorce in 2010 after Shawn had an affair with her son’s much younger baseball coach. At the same time, rumors were swirling that King was having an affair with Shawn’s sister, which both parties vehemently denied.

The couple reconciled but eventually called it quits after 22-years of marriage in August 2019. Southwick said she was ‘totally blind sighted’ by King’s bombshell court filing.


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