Larry King, who died Saturday at the age of 87, was known almost as much for his multiple marriages and divorces as he was for being an icon of broadcasting. He was married eight times to seven different women. He was only 18 the first time. One was a math teacher, another a Playboy bunny. He once said he never cheated on any of them, though some of his exes disagreed — and at least one stepped out on him several times herself.
“I got married a lot,” he once said. “But in my head, I’m not a marrying guy. When I grew up, nobody lived together. If you fell in love, you got married. And so I married the ones that I loved. But what I loved at 20 is not what I loved at 30, and what I loved at 30 is not what I loved at 40.”
(married 1997; separated 2019)King’s longest marriage was also his last — and the only one that lasted. Though King filed for divorce from Southwick, 61, in 2019, they were reportedly still married at the time of King’s death. They have two sons, Chance, 21, and Cannon, 20.
The two married in a hospital room in 1997 just before he underwent surgery to clear a blocked blood vessel. Southwick, a show biz vet with a background in acting and singing on TV shows in the 1970s and ’80s, was the daughter of a longtime music manager.
Though the marriage was rocky, due in part to their 26-year age difference and Southwick’s rumored infidelity (including a reported dalliance with her son’s baseball coach), Southwick appeared devastated when she learned King had filed for divorce. “I was crushed, I had no idea that this was coming, it hurt yeah. I was totally blindsided.”
Larry King and Shawn Southwick at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in West Hollywood, California, in 2006. zz/NPX/STAR MAX/IPx
(married 1989; divorced 1992)
King met businesswoman Julie Alexander and fell head over heels. He married her later that year in Washington, D.C. But it was over almost as fast as it began. They separated in 1990 and divorced two years later. Alexander told “Inside Edition” in 2010 that she suspected King had cheated on her.
Larry King and his sixth wife Julie Alexander in 1990.
(married 1976; divorced 1983) Lepore, a former math teacher and TV production assistant, was among King’s lowest-profile wives. It was King’s second-longest marriage but also the most private. They were both mum on why they divorced.
Larry King and Sharon Lepore in 1989.Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
(married 1963; divorced 1967)
The two reportedly met while working at a radio station in Miami and had a daughter, Kelly, who apparently was adopted by Sutphin’s second husband.
(married 1961; divorced 1963. Remarried 1967; divorced 1972)
A former Playboy Bunny, Akins married King twice — with his marriage to Mickey Sutphin in between. They had a daughter, Chaia, and King adopted her son, Andy. Akins died in 2017, and King called her a “grand lady” in a tweet. Both Chaia, then 51, and Andy, then 65, died in 2020. Chaia died from lung cancer and Andy from a heart attack.
Larry King and Alene Akins in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Alamy Stock Photo
(married 1961; divorced 1961)
Their marriage lasted just one year but produced a son, Larry Jr., now 59. Larry King Jr. was in his 30s when he met his father. Kaye told King about their shared child in 1994 when she was dying of lung cancer.
(married 1952; annulled 1953)
King married his high school sweetheart Freda Miller when he was only 18. The marriage was annulled, apparently at her parents’ request because they did not approve of the union.