As someone who’s married eight times to seven woman, Larry King knows something about the opposite sex.
His wives include a high school sweetheart, a Playboy bunny, a math teacher and an entertainer.
So when asked his philosophy on marriage Saturday morning as a guest speaker to a group of business professionals King had this simple reply: “Don’t.”
But, he did. Elizabeth Taylor, who married eight times to seven men, when asked why replied: “I don’t know.”
King expressed his views at the METal breakfast in Marina del Rey, Calif., and seemed equally perplexed.
“Marriage is the most difficult thing in society,” he said. “Relationships are the hardest thing. It’s a compromise, and it’s hard for me to compromise.”
What he liked at age 21 is not what he liked at 31, or 41.
“The secret to a winning marriage,” he said, “is to just say yes.”
Or, as I once heard, “The secret to a happy marriage is to keep your mouth shut and wallet open.”
When asked who was the brightest person he ever interviewed King said Stephen Hawking, a man who has pondered the deepest secrets of our Universe,
“I asked if there was something he didn’t understand. He said women.”
King told many jokes during his interview by METal host Ken Rutkowski. When asked how being retired after a lifetime as America’s premier interviewer he said, “I have mixed emotions, good and bad. It’s like watching your mother-in-law drive over the cliff in your brand new car.”
A question he is often asked is “What was it like to be kissed by Marlon Brando?” This apparently occurred following an interview.
“He kissed me on the lips. It was the strangest thing. I can’t stop thinking of him,” he joked.
I can’t stop thinking about the two stories King told when asked which interviews had the most impact.
One came when his guest was Danny Kaye, “one of the greatest entertainers ever,” said King.
They took phones calls and a woman told the story of her son, who had died during action in the Korean War. She told Kaye, “He had pictures of you in his footlocker. He saw all your movies. He loved you.”
All three of them started to cry. Kaye asked her what his favorite song was, and he sang it to her on the air.
“You can’t buy a moment like that,” said King.
The second story was about a guest who was a New York police officer, paralyzed from the neck down, from a shooting that occurred in Central Park. He had been investigating a rash of stolen bicycles when the policeman approached a young black kid on a shiny new bike. The kid pulled out a gun and fired. The minor was sentenced to four years.
The officer one day went to see the kid and asked why he shot him. The boy said that, at the time, he was holding the gun for his brother until he returned.
The boy was an A student. He worked hard and saved every dime and bought the bike with his own money.
“You were the 14th cop that day to ask me about the bike,” the boy told the officer.
It seems the kid broke down, snapped, and shot the man in a burst of frustration.
“Do you mind if I ask you a question?,” the boy said to the officer. “If I were a white kid would you have approached me about the bike?”
The officer reflected and said, “Probably not,” as King told the story.
“It was one of the few times I cried,” said King.
But the story ended on a good note. The policeman helped the boy get out of jail and became a “Big Brother” mentor.
“Years later the kid became a cop,” said King.
Larry King is a great story teller, which is what life is all about. Our life is a series of stories and we hope the good ones outweigh the bad. I hope yours do, too.
—*— Other notes from the METal breakfast:
William Quigley remarked “How incredible it is that the economic environment is stable,” given all the tumult going on around the world.
He also mentioned super investor and billionaire Warren Buffett, who has never invested in a technology stock.
Buffett reportedly once said don’t invest in a company whose business model you can’t define on a single sheet of paper with a crayon. He can’t seem to do that with tech firms. I mean, try explaining why Facebook has a value of $50 billion.
“Tech companies can be hard to figure out,” said Quigley.
He also thinks Facebook, Zynga and Twitter ought to get off their tail and file an initial public offering, as the window for IPOs “doesn’t last long.”
I also want to give a shout out to poet and motivational speaker Sekou, who performed just prior to Larry King. Sekou can deliver a message with a depth and passion that connects your heart and mind. I told him what a blessing it is to see someone discover their passion in life and share it with all. He nodded and said “Thank You.”
And to you I say thank you for sharing these thoughts with me.
Strength and Honor,