Happy Birthday, Larry King -- You changed my life! (I dated Larry when he was a young radio broadcaster in Miami...

...but I didn't marry him. Of course, he never asked me, either!)

Larry's family with his wife, Shawn, and two young sons, Chance and Cannon

Larry and I both started on-air in Miami in 1957. I got a job in January at WTVJ, Miami, Florida on a brand-new children's TV show, "Popeye Playhouse" (see photo above). Larry began his long career in May 1957 working at WAHR, a local AM radio station.

We were introduced by one of the WTVJ salesmen, perhaps Frank Boscia. We had at least one date in the late 1950s. I had finished high school and started at the University of Miami. Flash forward to 1971 -- I was divorced, with two tiny children. One night, I heard Larry on his 1:30 AM to 5:30 AM talk show, begging for doughnuts and coffee. I bought the snacks and brought them to WIOD on the North Bay Causeway. I asked Larry if he even remembered me. He didn't, but he encouraged me to stay and screen his calls and ask what people wanted to talk about.

I kept dropping by a couple of nights each week. I was lonely and Larry made me laugh. I provided him with "woman in the mall" cassette tapes of an hour in length. It was audio of me talking to people about local issues. One I recall in particular -- "Walt Disney is building a theme park called Disney World in Orlando. Do you think that will impact tourism in Miami?"

Steve Z., the radio engineer, would play the tapes so we could go home at 4:30 AM instead of 5:30 AM. Larry promised me he'd ask the program manager for some salary -- but he never did.

A few days before Christmas 1971, Larry was arrested (but never indicted or convicted). At that time, I contacted Elliot "Biggie" Nevins and told him I had a communications degree from the U. of Miami, had had experience on television, and had also worked in production for the "Tonight" show unit in New York City. "Biggie" told me, "I've heard you on the station. Come over and we'll talk." I think I had $80.00 left in my bank account. Obviously, I didn't want to work the graveyard shift forever, but just for a while. I took over Larry's radio show while they looked for a male host. The pay was $50.00 per night.

Meanwhile, it was a time for affirmative action. One Boston station, WEEI, had a 10AM to 2PM time slot to fill. The station manager, Dan Griffin, invited me up to Boston for the day -- April 28, 1972. Boston was beautiful in the spring! A day or two later, Dan called and offered me my own talk show. The start date of "Boston Forum with Ellen Kimball" was -- May 15, 1972. The ads in the paper said: "HAVE WE GOT A GIRL FOR YOU!"

Here's the rest of the story:


Enjoy your 75th Birthday (11/19/08), with warm regards from Ellen Kimball a/k/a Ellen Rainbow!