Larry King Expressed Gratitude for His Life in Final Interviews: 'I Feel Very Lucky'

Larry King looked back on his life fondly in the final months before his death.  

In one of his last interviews, the legendary TV host — who died on Saturday at the age of 87 — reflected on his decades-long career with gratitude.

"I wanted to be a broadcaster since I could remember, when I was five years old," King said while appearing on the series "Dispatches From Quarantine," which was filmed in April.

Detailing the start of his career, King, born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, recounted getting hired by a small station in Miami, and being told before his first broadcast in 1957 that he needed to come up with a different name. 

"[My general manager] had the Miami Herald open and there was an ad for King's Wholesale Liquors and he said, 'How about Larry King?' I legally changed it a year later," King said. 

"The first day I went on the air I was nervous as hell. I told the audience, 'My name is Larry King and that's the first time I've said that.' " he continued. "And I never was nervous again."

As for his job hosting Ora TV's Larry King Now, King said he felt "incredibly fortunate" for the opportunity to continue doing what he loved while living with his son Chance, now 21, amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I know most people my age, 86, are not working so I count that as a blessing," he shared. "I feel very lucky."

Speaking with PEOPLE last February, King reflected on how grateful he felt to be alive after suffering a near-fatal stroke in May 2019. 

"It's been a rough year," he said.  "And I don't have any idea of what 2020 is going to be like. But I can still work and I can watch my kids grow up. I feel positive — and hopeful."

King shared two sons with estranged wife Shawn Southwick King — Chance and Cannon, 20 — and also had son Larry King Jr. with ex-wife Annette Kaye. In the summer of 2020, his son Andy, 65, and daughter Chaia, 51, died within 23 days apart from each other.

At the time, King told PEOPLE that he had no plans of slowing down.  "I'm 86 and it is what it is. I just want to keep working until the end," he said.  

"I'm very proud of what I do," he added. "And I'm a good father — nothing beats parenthood. There's an element of pinching myself every day. Look at what I've come through. All in all if you look at it, I've had a blessed life."

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