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Larry King As Everyman

Larry King has been a broadcasting fixture for more than 40 years, interviewing the famous and infamous on radio and on CNN's Larry King Live. He and his wife, Shawn, recently sat down with Early Show Contributor Daphne Barak in their home in Beverly Hills, Calif. to talk about the charitable foundation he created, about their expected second child, and about his many years as an interviewer.

King describes how he became involved with a health care charity. "I had bypass surgery in 1987, in late '87," he recalls. "It was successful...I didn't think about who paid for it. Insurance paid for it."

One day, after he found out the operation's cost, he wondered what happens to the poor, those without insurance. "So we got together and we formed a little foundation, called the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, to raise money, have dinners, and give the money to people who need it," he says.

The charity also supports children. "A lot of children have heart problems," Larry King notes.

King says the charity is important to him. "Maybe it's the best thing I do, except being a father," he says.

He and his wife actually met on the street. "We bumped into each other on the street in front of Tiffany's," Shawn King says.

"We are 26 years apart," Larry King says. "I think about that a lot because we have a little baby."

There's also another baby coming along in two months.

"It's a boy," offers the proud father. "Chance will have a little brother; his name will be Cannon....Cannon, it's a nice street."

Does the couple discuss the topic of death?

"I talk about it," says Larry King. "She hates to talk about it," he adds. "If I kid about, you know, you make sure to take my son around and show him to the hall of fame. You tell him what Daddy did."

"But Daddy's going to be around for a long time," Shawn King insists.

"I'll be doing a show from the nursing home," Larry King jokes. "Me and the old people."

"We'll prop him up and wipe his drool," Shawn King says.

"'Good evening, it's Friday night,'" he says, portraying an older Larry King. "'Our guest tonight is Tessie Goldberg, and Tessie is going to tell us about plumbing problems in Apartment 406. Did the plumber come, Tessie?'" he jokes.

"'He never came, Larry. He never came,'" he says, as "Tessie."

"'I'll tell you, Tessie, I'm going to call the plumber now and see that he comes to fix (it), if I can get my hand to the phone. This is Larry in the nursing home,'" he quips.

What does he love about his job?

"I know that at 9 in the East, 6 o'clock out here, when the light comes on, I'm on," he says. "There's nothing I really don't like. Forty years I've been interviewing people, and I still get the same kick tonight as last night, as last wek, as last year," says the veteran talk-show host, who adds he maintains his curiousity.

What's the secret of his success?

"I think I'm Everyman," says Larry King. "I think I'm not intellectual; I'm just a guy. I'm just a guy. And I don't have an agenda."

He even asked pro-life Dan Quayle, what if his daughter wanted an abortion. "I was sincerely interested as a father to a father," he says.

His idea of a perfect vacation? "My favorite is to get down to La Costa with the wife, and exercise, and go to (a) spa, and feel healthy, and watch a movie, spending time with her, wherever we are," Larry King says.

"We got messed up a couple times. We were supposed to go to Paris; Frank Sinatra died. We were supposed to go to Paris; I needed angioplasty," he says.

"Someone had a very funny line: Don't say you're going to Paris; Bob Hope is worried," he quips.