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Michael King dead: TV mogul who helped launch Oprah Winfrey dies

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Reed Saxon/AP

Michael King, the mogul who, along with his brother Roger, helped establish the daytime careers of Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil McGraw and Rachael Ray, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 67.

According to the Associated Press, King passed away due to complications from pneumonia. 

“Anyone that knew Michael knows what a passion he brought to everything he touched,” McGraw said in a statement obtained by the AP. “He and Roger certainly had a profound impact on my life personally and professionally.” 

Under King World Productions, the brothers launched The Oprah Winfrey Show into syndication, and along with Harpo Studios, established Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray as staples in daytime television. The duo would go on to secure the rights to popular game shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy before the company was acquired by CBS in 2000 for a reported $2.5 billion. Roger King died in 2007

Michael King also was the founder and CEO of the boxing-focused King Sports Worldwide, and part of an investment group that owned the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets, and New Jersey Devils.

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