Larry King is not known for his short stint as a Miami Dolphins color commentator but that is exactly what he did early in his broadcast career. King passed away Friday night at the age of 87.
The prominent radio show host really got his breaks in the early 1970s in Miami with WIOD television. In 1970 and much of 1971, he served as the Dolphins color commentator but was replaced mid-season after legal issues cost him his job with the station. Those charges were later dropped and his career resumed but he didn’t return to the booth to cover Dolphins’ games.
Of course, we all remember King for his talk show and up close and personal interviews what we don’t know is that he actually honed those skills at a restaurant in Miami all those years ago when he would literally interview anyone who walked through the doors.
The Dolphins would go on to make their first appearance in a Super Bowl following the 1971 season. They would lose to the Dallas Cowboys 24-3 but the following season would stand as their greatest moment in NFL history. In 1977, he would return for one more season.
Another interesting anecdote is his name. Larry King was Larry Ziegler but his boss at the station thought he should change it because it was too hard to remember. He picked up the Miami Herald and just before he went on air, changed his last name to King after seeing an advertisement for King’s Liquor Store in the paper.