Larry King‘s cause of death has been revealed. The legendary TV and radio host died of sepsis. He was 87.
King also had two underlying conditions that led to sepsis, including acute hypoxic respiratory failure – meaning he did not have enough oxygen in his blood – and end stage renal disease also known as kidney failure, according to his death certificate obtained by People.
King died on Jan. 23 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. His death came just three weeks after news broke he was hospitalized with COVID-19. The host had reportedly been battling the virus since late December. However, his wife, Shawn King, told ET last month that he didn’t die from the coronavirus.
“It was an infection, it was sepsis,” she told ET. “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 sunk. 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 also talked about the difficulty of watching her husband struggle with health complications in his later years.
“His mind wasn’t right, and his body was going, and so that was hard to witness because Larry as we know him is the guy that goes, ‘Come on, let’s go, you’re late, get out of here,’” she recalled. “It’s always, ‘You’re late.”’
In May 2019, King experienced angina — a type of chest pain — and was admitted to the hospital early to be examined before his scheduled angioplasty. King also suffered a major heart attack in 1987 and had quintuple-bypass surgery. He acknowledged a few of his unhealthy habits prior to his heart attack in the 2004 book, Taking on Heart Disease.
In September 2017, King revealed he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery to remove the upper lobe and lymph node. His rep told ET at the time that he returned to work just two weeks later.
In a heartfelt statement shortly after his death, King’s sons, Larry King, Jr., 59, Chance King, 21, and Cannon King, 20, mourned their father. King’s daughter Chaia and son Andy died within weeks of each other last year.
“We are heartbroken over our father’s death, and together with our extended family mourn his passing. The world knew Larry King as a great broadcaster and interviewer, but to us he was ‘dad,’” they said. “He was the man who lovingly obsessed over our daily schedules and our well-being, and who took such immense pride in our accomplishments — large, small, or imagined. And, through it all, we knew without a doubt in the world that he loved us more than life itself. He was an amazing father, and he was fiercely loyal to those lucky enough to call him a friend. We will miss him every single day of our lives.”
“The outpouring of love and the remembrances of his remarkable career have touched us deeply and we are so thankful. In lieu of flowers, we kindly ask consideration of a donation to the American Heart Association or the Beverly Hills Fire Department EMS, to which a debt of gratitude is owed for the wonderful care they provided to our dad in his final years. With deep appreciation,” the statement concluded.
See more on King’s life and legacy in the video below.