Firm details regarding the death of talk show legend Larry King have been released, officially confirming his cause of death. King passed away on Jan. 23 at age 87, weeks after battling COVID-19. The former Larry King Live host was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after contracting the coronavirus, but that was not listed as his cause of death. According to King's death certificate, the media icon officially died of sepsis, as reported by PEOPLE on Friday. This update confirms the initial reports shared by King's wife indicating the host passed after a fresh health fight.
The documents also note King has two underlying conditions that led to sepsis. King had acute hypoxic respiratory failure, which meant he did not have enough oxygen in his blood. He also had end-stage renal disease, also known as kidney failure. King died just three weeks after it was reported that he was hospitalized with COVID-19.
"For 63 years, across the many platforms of radio, television, and digital media Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards and acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster," Ora Media announced on Jan. 23. The company, which King founded, also praised King for his 25-year run on Larry King Live and his Ora shows, Larry King Now and Politicking with Larry King. His programs are "consistently referenced by media outlets around the world and remain part of the historical record of the late 20th and early 21st centuries," the statement read.
King's wife Shawn King shared with Entertainment Tonight that King died from an infection of sepsis after his death. "He was finally ready to go, I will tell you that," Shawn said. "You know, he never wanted to go but his sweet little body was just, it had just been hit so many times with so many things and once we heard the word COVID, all of our hearts just sunk," she continued. "But he beat it, you know, he beat it, but it did take its toll and then the unrelated infection finally is what took him, but boy, he was not gonna go down easily."
Shawn said it was difficult to watch King suffer through several health ailments in his later years. In September 2017, King said he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he experienced angina in May 2019. He also had several heart issues during his life, including a major heart attack in 1987. "His mind wasn't right, and his body was going, and so that was hard to witness because Larry, as we know him, is the guy that goes, 'Come on, let's go, you're late, get out of here,'" Shawn told ET. "It's always, 'You're late.'''
King was also survived by his sons Larry King, Jr., 59; Chance King, 21; and Cannon King, 20. Last year, King's daughter Chaia and son Andy died within weeks of each other. His sons issued a statement on King's death last month. "We are heartbroken over our father's death, and together with our extended family mourn his passing," the said. "The world knew Larry King as a great broadcaster and interviewer, but to us he was 'dad.'"