Larry King heads here for Museum of Broadcast event

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The legendary Larry King will be at the Museum of Broadcast Communications Friday night.

Iconic broadcaster Larry King will be in Chicago Friday for “An Evening With Larry King” at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St. The event, beginning at 7 p.m. will feature a conversation between the longtime CNN mainstay and his good friend, Los Angeles Dodgers radio legend and former “SportsCenter” anchor Charley Steiner. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at http://www.museum.tv.

Q: You’re going to be teaming up with Charley Steiner Friday. Is it safe to say you’ll cover a lot of material?

A: We sure will. I’m going to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on Friday. I guess I’m going to sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame,’ which will be my third time doing that at Wrigley Field. It’s such a great ball park to visit. I love to talk baseball. I do a show for the Dodgers every month for their network in L.A. And Charley and I are very close friends. I’ve interviewed him for a special commemoration when he went to the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Now, we turn the tables. I love to talk baseball, but I’m sure we’ll talk about a lot of other things too. We’ll take questions from the audience — it should be a lot of fun.

Q: I can’t imagine there is anyone you haven’t interviewed over the years. But is there any one that got away? Someone you’d love to interview if you could?

A: Fidel Castro. I went down to Havana a number of years ago and we tried to make a conneciton, but it didn’t happen. Ted Turner [founder of CNN] knows Castro pretty well, and tried to get him for me some years back, but it was very hard to pull off.

I guess he’s not in the best of health now.

Forget politics. Here’s a guy who led that country for 60 years. Somebody must have liked him. It confounds me what a figure he is in world history. There is a lot about him that is terrible when it comes to human rights, of course, what with political prisoners, etc.

But he still fascinates me.

Of course, he’s still living and I”m still living, so who knows? There’s still a possibility!

Q: You have had one of the longest careers — if not the longest career — of anyone I can think of in broadcasting. What keeps you inspired and going — from radio to TV and now via the new media on your podcast on “Larry King Now”?

A: I thought I could retire, but Milton Berle told me something a long time ago — and he was right. I asked him if he was going to retire. ‘Retire to what!?’ he said. As for me, I love my family. I love my kids, but I love being on the air. I love communicating. It’s something I’ve done for 57 years. I’ve actually broadcast in seven decades. If I make it another three years, I will have been on the air 60 years.

Q: Recently we both lost a good friend, Joan Rivers. So much has been said already about Joan and her talent and contributions to the entertainment business. Your thoughts at this point?

A: Joan is someone I knew for 45 years. I first met Joan when I was in Miami. She did my show down there. I must have been with her some 50 times. Despite all the caustic humor, she was a terrific lady. Sharp as could be.

Q: Of the people you have interviewed over the years, who are some of the people who stand out for you?

A: It’s a long list: Seven U.S. presidents, Frank Sinatra, Nelson Mandela, the heroes of the civil rights movement, every prime minister of Israel, just to name a few. But also, I’ve been inspired by interviews I’ve done with ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. I pinch myself every day. I’ve had an incredible life for a little Jewish kid from Brooklyn, who always wanted to be on the radio. I left Brooklyn, but Brooklyn never left me. I’m not a limo kind of guy.

Q: I’ve always felt that a big part of your success as an interviewer is due to the fact you are a phenomenal listener. Is that a big part of the secret to your success?

A: I think you hit the key there. The good interviewer listens. I’ve always asked short questions and listen to what they say, because it does often lead to the next question. The guest counts to me. I care what the person has to say. I’m not there to embarrass them. I’m there to learn. I hope the audience listening and watching comes away knowing more than they knew about the person I’m interviewing than they did before.

That’s what I’ve always tried to do.

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