Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder (born April 27, 1952) is an American radio commentator. His radio program The Larry Elder Show formerly aired weekdays at 3 PM on talk radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles. His show began on September 27, 2010; it was previously heard on the same station weekdays from 3 PM to 7 PM from 1994 to 2008 and was syndicated on ABC Radio Networks from 2002 to 2007 and locally on KABC radio in the Los Angeles Metro area from 2009 to 2014. In December 2014, KABC radio did not renew his contract.
Since December 2014, he has been running a live show on the internet on his podcast and then on CRN Channel 1 from 12 PM to 3 PM PST. Starting April 4, 2016, Salem Communications now syndicates The Larry Elder Show nationwide, with his base station at AM 870 in Los Angeles and currently syndicated in over 300 markets.
Larry Elder was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the city's Pico-Union and South Central areas. Elder attended Washington Preparatory High School and later graduated from Crenshaw High School and earned his B.A.. in political science in 1974 from Brown University. He then earned his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School in 1977. After graduation, he worked with a law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, where he practiced litigation. In 1980, he founded Laurence A. Elder and Associates, recruiting attorneys.
While he was a lawyer in Cleveland in the late 1980s, Elder began to host a topic-oriented television show on PBS affiliate WVIZ produced by Dennis Goulden. In the early 1990s, the show's name was retitled The Larry Elder Show and moved to the local Fox Network affiliate WOIO and cable TV. Goulden and Elder won the Ohio Cable Television Association's "Best Program Series Award" in 1992 for their work on the show, which lasted until Elder moved back to Los Angeles in 1994. Between 2000 and 2001, Elder hosted the court series Moral Court, distributed by Warner Brothers Television. In September 2004, he began the television version of The Larry Elder Show, which was dropped on April 12, 2005, owing to low ratings. He was a host of the PBS program National Desk, including the segment "Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices From Black America," for which he won an AEGIS Award of Excellence, a Telly award, and an Emerald City Gold Award of Excellence. Elder also won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award in 2000 for his KCAL-TV News special Making Waves – LAUSD. He has played himself on the sitcoms Spin City and The Hughleys. He is a columnist with Creators Syndicate. Elder's newspaper and online column is carried by Investor's Business Daily, World Net Daily, Townhall.com, Jewish World Review and Front Page Magazine
From 2002 to 2007, Elder's show was nationally syndicated by ABC Radio Networks and its news-talk network, ABC News & Talk. After Citadel Broadcasting took over most of ABC's radio operations in 2007, syndication of Elder's show was discontinued in favor of Mark Levin, and the show reverted to a local show in August of that year.
December 12, 2008, was his final day on KABC. Elder then began a daily live podcast as well as a webcast starting in December 2009. In late March 2011, Elder started to charge for his podcasts. They were previously available for free on the KABC website. On September 27, 2010, Elder returned to KABC, hosting weekdays from 9 to noon. He was soon back in his regular afternoon slot.
On December 2, 2014, Elder was fired from KABC following his afternoon airshift. On April 27, 2015, Elder was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Of the year's 30 honorees, Elder is the only one from the radio industry.
On July 16, 2015, Larry Elder, substituting for Ben Shapiro on the Morning Answer Show, announced on local radio station KRLA (The Answer 870) Glendale, CA that he will be back on the air in August 2015 from 9 PM to 11 PM PST. KRLA is part of the Salem Radio Network (SRN), a division of the Salem Media Group.
Elder's political views are philosophically libertarian and have also been described as conservative. He supports free trade, school choice, and same-sex marriage. He opposes the income tax and supports replacing it with the FairTax, a national retail sales tax. He is also a firm opponent of the war on drugs and has been quoted as saying: "Philosophically, I think that if somebody wants to sit around and get stoned that's up to him or her. And if that ruins your life, so be it.... So I am for drug legalization." Although he is not an Objectivist, he says that Atlas Shrugged, written by novelist Ayn Rand, is one of his favorite books.
Following Elder's re-registering as a Republican, in a 2008 interview with The New Individualist Magazine he said, "A lot of my listeners will often call up and say, 'I preferred you when you were a Libertarian.' I always tell them I never was a 'capital-L Libertarian.' I am still 'small-l.' It’s a philosophy to me, not a party." Elder supported presidential candidates Harry Browne in 2000, George W. Bush in 2004, and John McCain in 2008.
Elder was born in 1952, the second of Randolph and Viola Conley Elder's three sons. At the time, the family lived in the largely Latino Pico-Union district of Los Angeles. Elder's father, Randolph, was on his own from the age of 13 and worked a variety of jobs. He enlisted in the US Marines and served as a cook in the Philippines during World War II. Following the war, he was refused employment as a short-order cook many times because he had no references.
Elder's father moved to California and worked several jobs at once to support his family. He also attended night school to earn his GED. By his early forties he had saved enough to open his own café, which he successfully owned and operated near downtown Los Angeles for 30 years. On his radio show, Elder said about his father: "A tougher life I have rarely come across. Yet he never hated, he was never bitter, he never condemned his circumstances, and he always said there are very few problems that cannot be solved through hard work." Elder told a Reason interviewer in 1996 that his father was his role model: "He was the hardest working man I've ever known.... He had a work ethic that was beyond belief."
In 2005, Elder created a self-financed film called Michael & Me, in which he attempts to repudiate filmmaker Michael Moore's anti-gun politics and his assertions in Moore's controversial documentary, Bowling for Columbine.