RIP Larry King: Late Radio Host Wanted to Be Frozen (At Least Until Podcasts Aren’t Trendy)

Larry King, the legendary radio and TV host, died last week at age 87. But well before he passed, he was thinking about death – and what he wanted to happen to him when his life ended.

Just last year, he told Los Angeles television station KTLA that his fear of death had disappeared. “I still read the obits and I also looked into the idea of being frozen because then, I’d wake up in 100 years and they cured whatever I died of, and I’m alive again,” he said. “Someone said to me, ‘But, you won’t know anybody?’ and I said, ‘I’ll make new friends.’”

King wasn’t kidding about cryopreservation. He repeatedly spoke of being frozen post-mortem.

“I don’t believe in an afterlife. I can’t, I just never accepted it,” he said during a 2011 TV special CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings. “I never made that leap of faith. So, that means when you die, it’s bye-bye baby. So the only hope, the only fragment of hope, is to be frozen and then someday, they cure whatever you died of, and you’re back.”

Discussing cryopreservation on The Dr. Oz Show in March 2015, he said, “I think when you die, that’s it. I don’t want that to be it. I want to be around. So I figured the only chance I have is to be frozen, and then, if they cure whatever I died of, I come back.”

And he went into even further detail on the freezing process during a panel, A Life in Broadcasting: A Conversation With Larry King: “When you die, they inject you with a fluid that keeps blood circulating through and they take it and they freeze you in a certain compound and put you in a tube. They have it all labeled. It’s in New Hampshire and in Phoenix … it’s $135,000, you put it in your will, they know to come to the hospital right away. If you died of cancer … and they cure it, they revive you.”

Larry King’s cause of death has not been released, though his demise came weeks after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Whether or not he’s been frozen is unclear. But even if science finds a cure for coronavirus, what would be the point of coming back at age 87? It wasn’t like he was the beacon of health before COVID: King had had an angioplasty and a month later suffered a stroke that left him in a coma for weeks.

So even if by some miracle of science, he could be revived, what kind of quality of life could he possibly have? Death isn’t the enemy; aging is. That, and podcasts. But we can’t predict for certain when that trend will kick the bucket.

You’re better off in the ground or as ashes, Larry. The afterlife has to be far more interesting than anything happening on Earth anyway.

Cover Photo: Rodin Eckenroth / Stringer

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