President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had three of the four qualities Larry King considers critical to a good interview.
President Hinckley was passionate about what he believed, was articulate and had a little bit of a sense of humor about himself, King said.The lacking fourth quality? He did not have a chip on his shoulder, something Frank Sinatra did, King said.
Which is one reason King names Sinatra as possibly his best interview ever.
"He was hard to get. He didn't like to give interviews, but he liked me so he agreed to come on the show," King said.
"But President Hinckley, oh, yeah, he was one of the best, absolutely."
King was giving what he usually gets at Timpview High School in Provo Friday evening, holding court for the press and public prior to the football game between Timp-view's Thunderbirds and the American Fork High School Caveman. King, who hosts CNN's popular talk show "Larry King Live," had agreed to announce the game. King is married to Shawn Southwick, whose son, Danny, is quarterback for the Thunderbirds.
King said he doesn't consider himself a godly man.
"When I had a heart attack, I didn't pray. When I had an angioplasty, Shawn and her family prayed for me and I guess it worked because it turned out all right. But when I had my heart attack, I said, `If there's a God, why'd he give me a heart attack?' "
He said the Clinton scandal is "just sad, a story with no heroes."
He told student newspaper editor Amy Moulton he was a bad student when he was in high school, more interested in sports than in his schooling.
"I never went to college. I just went to high school," he said. "But I went everywhere with my friends."
King said he always wanted to be on radio and television, so much so that when he was small he would pretend he was announcing.
"I never wanted to be a fireman or a policeman or any of those things. I'm doing what I dreamed."
King also doesn't think he's a tough guy.
"I'm not tough. I'm just curious," he said. "I'm a conduit for people. My stars are my guests. I look forward to every interview. I learn and I'm entertained.
"The thing is, I never get tired of it."