Larry King Talks about his Diabetes for the First Time "Diabetes was just a word to me"

July 20, 2009

Broadcasting legend Larry King turns the tables to talk about himself in his new autobiography, My Remarkable Journey, but doesn't mention the chronic disease he's lived with for nearly fifteen years: type 2 diabetes. In an interview with Diabetes Forecast, the consumer magazine of the American Diabetes Association, King discusses his diabetes publicly for the first time, and explains how his health, lifestyle, and personality influence one another.

King suffered a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery in 1987, which inspired him to stop smoking and start a healthier routine. So when he was diagnosed with diabetes in the mid-1990s, it was a surprise. "I was already exercising. I was pretty much watching my diet," he says, "So I kind of took it as, ‘Now? Now I get diabetes?'"
Although there was a history of diabetes in his family, it wasn't something he'd thought much about. His aunt lived with the disease, but because she never actually looked sick, King says, "Diabetes was just a word to me."

Now, however, it is an integrated part of his life, and something he deals with every day. In Diabetes Forecast, he talks about the time he experienced hypoglycemia when he was on the air, interviewing Betty Ford. "She asked me if I was OK," he says. "I guess I got a little pale… I thought I was going to faint." As someone who leads a busy life with a great deal of stress, King has had to learn how to incorporate his disease management into the fast pace of his life. "The one thing you can't change is a Type A personality," he says.

So why hasn't the famous talker talked about his diabetes before now? "When I do a show, I don't use the word ‘I'," says King. "My show is about the guests." But as the guest of Diabetes Forecast, King shares a great deal of himself; his health, his attitude about what he does, and even his interest in stand-up comedy.

Also in the August 2009 issue of Diabetes Forecast:
Going to college is a big transition for everyone, but it's an especially significant step for teens with diabetes. A feature story in this issue provides tips and advice from experts and stories from college students with diabetes. "Having diabetes is almost like adding another course to your schedule," says Lori Laffel, MD. But with good planning—and by reaching out to others on campus—diabetes doesn't have to keep you from enjoying all that college has to offer.

The August issue also brings you information on:

  • The Great Weight Debate: Does your body actually make it harder for you to lose weight? Here's what science has to say.
  • Yes, It's a Burger: Tasty new recipes offer three fabulous alternatives to red meat.
  • Guest Editorial: Justin Credible: the first known case of type 1 diabetes in a horse.

Diabetes Forecast has been America's leading diabetes magazine for more than 60 years, offering the latest news on diabetes research and treatment to provide information, inspiration, and support to people with diabetes.



About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)