“Great athletes never have lousy names. If your name is Frederico Trepalano, you are not going to be a great ballplayer. Michael Jordan is a great name. Easy to remember. Seven letters and six letters. Usually, if they combine to thirteen, they’re good names. I’m into numbers.”
– Larry King, Esquire, August 2010
Easy for Larry to say, isn’t it? Larry King is the perfect name, nine letters and all. The “L” kicks it off nicely, then there’s wide, American “arr” that makes your face really work, the “y” ties the “arr” to the hard “K” perfectly, with the ringing “ing” as a radio stinger, leaving audio ripples in the air, a pause that you don’t want to break when you hear the name so you just sit there, in awe.
And “King”, too. Come on, “king”: A noun for “the male ruler of an independent state, esp. one who inherits the position by right of birth : [as title ] King Henry VIII,” “a person or thing regarded as the finest or most important in its sphere or group.”
The top dog. The ruler. The chosen one.
But it gets better because there’s the “Larry”, the casual, down-to-earth version of Lawrence, which, in turn, is the anglicized version of the French Laurent, originally derived from “from Laurentum”, but which was also widely associated with laurel leaves that were worn as a sign of victory.
Hear that? Victory.
With a name like that, how could Larry King possibly be anything else but a winner, and a living success story.
Just the sound and the meaning of the name would be enough. But no, it doesn’t stop there. He’s got the number nine, 5+4=9. Number nine! Can you imagine?
The highest single-digit number we have. The trinity of the trinity. The number of Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, and the double-nine, Wayne Gretzky. Nine was also Ted Williams’s number. Ronaldo was number 9, Ian Rush was 9. Pele and Maradona surely wanted to be nines. (Note: All perfect star names, too).
The white album was the Beatles’ ninth album. Whitesnake has made nine versions of “Here I go again”. “Nine” is the director’s cut of “Seven”. Snow White, the seven dwarfs, and the evil stepmother are a group of nine. Larry King’s next marriage will be his ninth.
The ninth letter of the alphabet is “I”.
Lawrence Harvey Zeiger never stood a chance.