Larry L. King, 83, a writer and playwright whose magazine article about a campaign to close down a popular bordello became a hit Tony Award-nominated musical
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
and a movie, died Thursday.
His wife, Barbara Blaine, said Mr. King died at a Washington retirement home after battling emphysema.
Mr. King wrote two musicals, five plays, 14 books, a few screenplays, and hundreds of magazine articles, for which he won an O. Henry Award in 2001.
His books include None But a Blockhead about the act of writing, and a children's book, called Because of Lozo Brown, about the fears children have of meeting others. Collections of his essays were also published.
His Confessions of a White Racist - he called it "a gratuitous admission of guilt on behalf of all white racists past and present, malignant and benign" - was a finalist for a National Book Award. He won an Emmy for his 1982 television documentary for CBS, The Best Little Statehouse in Texas. He taught at Princeton and was a fellow at Duke.
Mr. King came to Washington in 1954 to work for a newly elected congressman from El Paso.
He said President John F. Kennedy's assassination caused him to reevaluate his life. He quit politics and headed to New York.