NEW YORK, May 9 (UPI) -- Comedian Alan King died Sunday at age 76 of lung cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
King was born Irwin Alan Kniberg Dec. 26, 1927, in Brooklyn. Both of his parents were Russian immigrants.
The New York Times reported that King became the protege of comedian Milton Berle when he was only a teenager. King's style, however, was all his own. He grew into his own swaggering persona, described as part impatient executive, part cranky citizen, part bedeviled husband and father.
Over the years, King shared stages with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 56 times, emceed President John F. Kennedy's inaugural party, hosted the 1972 Academy awards, appeared in 29 films, shot an HBO special, founded a pro tennis tournament and wrote five books.
King's charity work included fund-raising for the Nassau Center for Emotionally Disturbed Children on Long Island; his establishment of a chair in dramatic arts at Brandeis University; and the founding of the Alan King Diagnostic Medical Center in Jerusalem.
In addition to his wife, Jeanette, King is survived by two sons, Robert and Andrew; a daughter, Elainie Gagne; and seven grandchildren.