CNN’s Chris Cuomo paid an emotional on-air tribute to Larry King on Monday night, hailing the late broadcasting legend as “a mentor, a man I could trust” and “a big reason why I’m in your face tonight.”
King died Saturday at age 87. He was hospitalized with COVID-19 in December.
“When I got a call that he had passed, I immediately had another reason to hate COVID because I know it took a lot out of him,” said Cuomo, who himself battled the coronavirus early on in the pandemic.
Cuomo remembered King’s friendship and interviews with his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York. The anchor said his father “loved Larry the man, not the media guy.”
Cuomo then recalled the support that King had offered him throughout his media career, from encouraging him to leave law and pursue journalism (against his father’s wishes) to backing his move from ABC News to CNN.
“He was a beautiful man,” Cuomo said of King, describing him as “decent” and “real.”
There will “never be another Larry King ― combination of grit, life experience, bearing, it comes once,” Cuomo added. “It is not goodbye. It is see you soon, brother.”
Watch the tribute here:
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.