Laurence Allen Elder
April 27, 1952
Laurence Allen Elder (born April 27, 1952) is an American conservative talk radio host, author, politician, and attorney who hosts The Larry Elder Show. The show began as a local program on Los Angeles radio station KABC in 1993 and ran until 2008, followed by a second run on KABC from 2010 to 2014. The show is nationally syndicated, first through ABC Radio Networks from 2002 to 2007 and then Salem Media Group since 2015.
Elder has written nonfiction books and a nationally syndicated column through Creators Syndicate. In his first run for public office, Elder was a Republican candidate in the unsuccessful 2021 California gubernatorial recall election of Democrat Gavin Newsom. The recall was defeated by a wide margin, with Elder placing first among the replacement candidates.
Early life and education
Laurence Allen Elder was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the city's Pico-Union and South Central areas, the middle child of three brothers. His father Randolph (1915–2011), who was born in Athens, Georgia, was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and moved to California from Georgia after the war during the Second Great Migration. After working as a janitor at Nabisco, Randolph Elder opened a cafe in Pico-Union around 1962. Following his father's death in 2011, Larry Elder recalled: "Gruff and blunt, my dad often intimidated my two brothers and me. But we never doubted his love or his commitment to his family." In 2013, Elder and his brother Kirk accepted a Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher on their father's behalf. Larry Elder's mother Viola (née Conley, 1924–2006) was originally from Toney, Alabama. She was a clerical worker for the United States Department of War during World War II. His father was a Republican, and his mother a Democrat.
An honors student who also took advanced courses at Fairfax High School, Elder graduated from Crenshaw High School in 1970 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1974 from Brown University. He then earned a Juris Doctor from University of Michigan Law School in 1977.
After graduation from law school, Elder joined the Cleveland law firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. In 1980, he founded Laurence A. Elder and Associates, a legal executive search firm. Elder stepped down from operating Elder and Associates around 1987 but continued to own the firm until 1995.
Television, film and video
In 1997, he hosted the PBS program National Desk along with fellow conservatives Fred Barnes and Laura Ingraham. Elder hosted the segments Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices From Black America and Title IX and Women in Sports: What's Wrong With This Picture, which criticized Title IX.
In 2000, Elder won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for his KCAL-TV News special Making Waves – LAUSD. Between 2000 and 2001, Elder hosted the court series Moral Court, distributed by Warner Brothers Television. In 2004, he hosted The Larry Elder Show, a syndicated talk show distributed by Warner Bros.
Elder is a columnist with Creators Syndicate. His newspaper and online column are carried by Investor's Business Daily, World Net Daily, Townhall.com, Jewish World Review and FrontPage Magazine. He hosts a video series published by The Epoch Times.
In 1994, Elder began hosting a weekday evening talk show on Los Angeles talk radio station KABC. From 2002 to 2007, the 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.
Jean Guerrero, in a 2020 interview on NPR, said that Elder had told her that he had invited Stephen Miller on his radio show as a guest a total of 69 times, having been impressed with Miller after he had first called in to the show as a high school student. Miller, who cites Elder as an influence, later became a Trump administration official and the architect of Trump's immigration policies.
In the late 1980s, Elder wrote op-eds for local newspapers in Cleveland. In 1998, Elder began writing a nationally syndicated column through Creators Syndicate. Elder wrote a weekly column for the Los Angeles Daily News until April 2012.
2021 California gubernatorial recall election
In July 2021, Elder announced his candidacy to replace Governor Gavin Newsom in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. He said that he was encouraged to run by fellow conservative talk-radio figure Dennis Prager, a mentor to Elder.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber initially omitted Elder's name from the list of candidates to be on the ballot, saying that he failed to submit complete tax return information that was required according to Senate Bill 27, which was enacted in 2019; the law mandated tax return disclosure for both presidential and gubernatorial candidates in order to appear on a "primary" ballot (the presidential requirement was later struck down by the courts). Elder sued, saying that his paperwork was properly submitted and that Weber was required to fix the alleged errors. On July 21, 2021, Judge Laurie Earl of the Sacramento County Superior Court ordered Elder's reinstatement to the recall ballot, holding that Weber improperly disqualified Elder, who had "substantially complied" with disclosure requirements, and that the recall election's tax return disclosure requirements imposed by Secretary of State Weber were invalid, since the special recall election was not a "direct primary election". Weber's office did not appeal the ruling.
After his entry, Elder had been regarded as the front-runner on the election's replacement question. He refused to participate in debates with other Republican recall candidates, such as former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and businessowner John Cox, and had refused to share a stage with certain other candidates at Republican Party events. Former California Governor Pete Wilson was one of Elder's campaign advisors. If elected Governor, Elder pledged to replace one of California's two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein, with a Republican.
In September 2021, while the recall election was underway, Elder claimed without evidence that there would be "shenanigans" in the voting process. Four days before election day, and before election results were known, a website paid for by Elder's campaign already referred to the election having "twisted results", baselessly stating that analyses "detected fraud in California resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor."
On the night of the election, after Newsom defeated the recall effort, Elder told his supporters to be "gracious in defeat", stating that "we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war", proceeding to repeatedly criticize Newsom.
Elder's views are conservative and right wing. Elder is a registered Republican; in 2021, he stated that he had voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 1980 after voting for Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976. Elder labels himself a "small-l" libertarian as opposed to a member of the Libertarian Party.
He is an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, frequently praising him on Twitter. He was an early supporter of Trump's 2016 candidacy for president. In 2019, speaking to an audience about the election of Trump, Elder said, "It was a miracle. He is almost God-sent." After Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election and Donald Trump made false claims of fraud while refusing to concede, Elder said that he did not believe that Biden won the 2020 election fairly. Elder has argued that it is unfair to blame Trump for the January 2021 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Elder opposed tariffs imposed by Trump and Trump's decision to draw down U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
In his 2000 book, The Ten Things You Can't Say In America, Elder laid out a 10-point plan to "save America". He called for abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, creating a national sales tax, reducing government by 80%, ending welfare and entitlements, abolishing the minimum wage, and eliminating corporate taxes.
Elder opposes minimum wage laws, arguing that "The ideal minimum wage is $0.00." He opposes universal basic income. Elder opposes California's unpaid family leave law. In his 2020 film Uncle Tom: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative, Elder criticizes the War on Poverty.
On a CNN Crossfire segment in 2013 along with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Elder criticized Christie for accepting the "architecture of the welfare state" and claimed that "government took almost 50 percent of the American people's money" through mandates, a claim he supported by referring to an analysis by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform. PolitiFact rated his claim "Mostly False".
Elder has been critical of public-sector labor unions, especially the California Teachers Association. He contends that some 15,000 California teachers are "incompetent" and previously proposed that thousands of teachers in the state be fired. He later said that he favored more charter schools and private schools instead.
Statements and views on women
In August 2021, Elder came under criticism for his long history of disparaging statements about women. Elder has contended that "Women know less than men about political issues, economics, and current events"; mocked women who took part in the 2017 Women's March as "obese"; mocked premenstrual syndrome by saying PMS stands for "Punish My Spouse"; endorsed pregnancy discrimination by employers; reposted an article on his website that likened single mothers on welfare to stray cats; and claimed that statistics about domestic violence against women are exaggerated to promote feminism. Elder has asserted that Democrats achieve more success among women voters because they have "emotionally driven, but often unsound policies."
Elder has often denied that a gender wage gap exists. Elder contends that employers should be allowed to discriminate in employment against women who plan to have children, and in his 2002 book he wrote that women who choose to have children are not "dedicated" to their jobs and suggested that they lacked a "commitment" to work. Elder reiterated these views in 2021, while he ran for governor, after fellow Republican candidate Kevin Faulconer criticized Elder's views.
Elder opposes abortion, calling it "murder." He has argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, calling the decision "one of the worst decisions that the Supreme Court ever handed down." He believes that abortion laws should be decided at the state level.
Elder has made anti-LGBT remarks on Twitter and has repeatedly used male pronouns when referring to transgender women, such as Playboy model Ines Rau and fellow gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner.
In 2021, Elder accused California of having a "soft-on-crime ethos"; he opposes a California law that banned police from using certain chokeholds. Elder opposes 2014 California Proposition 47, which reclassified as misdemeanors many lower-level drug and property crimes that had formerly been felonies, and said that if elected governor he would press for the proposition to be repealed.
Science, environment, and COVID-19 pandemic
In a 2000 book, Elder suggested that the health hazards of secondhand tobacco smoke had been exaggerated, rejecting the scientific consensus that secondhand smoke is a serious threat that caused 2.5 million deaths in the half-century before 2014.
Elder's website once described climate change as a "myth"; in a 2008 interview, he called climate change a "crock," disparaged Republicans such as John McCain and George W. Bush, who acknowledged climate change, and said that global warming is not a "big peril" to planet Earth. In 2021, Elder acknowledged that the climate is warming, but refused to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is the primary contributor, claiming that concern about climate change is "alarmism."
In 2021, Elder pledged to remove current statewide public health mandates for state government workers in California, such as COVID-19 vaccine requirements, face mask requirements, or regular COVID-19 testing. Elder encouraged "people in high-risk categories, people who are older" to be vaccinated but said that "young people" do not need to be vaccinated. In 2021, Elder did not challenge a call-in listener to his radio show who espoused COVID-19 misinformation suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines were dangerous and part of a Bill Gates-orchestrated plot, and a page on Elder's website promoted the call-in listener's comments by saying, "You'll want to hear this physician's take on the vaccines."
Elder does not believe in systemic racism, calling it a lie. He is a critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, blaming it for rising crime. As part of his criticism of welfare, he stated that it is more harmful to Black families than slavery ever was. He has proposed school choice as a solution for poor performance of Black children in school.
Allegations of abuse and sexual harassment
Elder's former fiancée, Alexandra Datig, accused him of abuse. Datig, a longtime former radio producer for Elder, was engaged to Elder from 2013 until 2015. Datig said that Elder had demanded she show devotion by having "Larry's Girl" tattooed on herself and, during an argument, brandished a gun in a threatening manner. After Datig's allegations became public, The Sacramento Bee editorial board and fellow candidates Kevin Faulconer and Caitlyn Jenner called for Elder to withdraw from the race. Elder has denied Datig's accusations.
In 2011 episodes of his radio program, Elder said that he had twice been accused of sexual harassment, denying both allegations. In one case, Elder defended himself by implying that the woman was too unattractive for him to sexually harass, saying, "If you had seen her, you would know that the picture would be a complete defense. I'm just saying."
- Elder, Larry (2001). The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-28465-9. OCLC 47859180 – via Google Books.
- Elder, Larry (2003). Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests that Divide America. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-32017-5. OCLC 53143426.
- Elder, Larry (2009). What's Race Got to Do with It?: Why It's Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America (Revised ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0-312-54147-7. OCLC 243544859.
- Elder, Larry (2017). Double Standards: The Selective Outrage of the Left. Hermosa Beach, California: Creators Publishing. ISBN 9-781945-630651. OCLC 1038079231.
- Elder, Larry (2018). A Lot Like Me: A Father and Son's Journey to Reconciliation: A Memoir. Washington: Regnery Publishing. ISBN 9781621577973. OCLC 1019746878.
- Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices from Black America
- Title IX And Women In Sports: What's Wrong With This Picture? Whidbey Island Films
- For Goodness Sake II (1996) – Elder hosts the "Diversity Through Character" segment.
- Michael & Me (2005)
- Uncle Tom (2020)
- Black conservatism in the United States
- History of African Americans in Los Angeles
- Libertarian conservatism
- List of African-American Republicans
- Braxton, Greg (September 27, 2010). "Larry Elder returns to airwaves on KABC-AM". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 23, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- Seitz-Wald, Alex (August 29, 2021). "How Larry Elder upended the California recall". NBC News. Archived from the original on September 12, 2021. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
- Mitchell, John L. (May 31, 1998). "Larry Knows Best". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 9, 2021.
- Sgt. Jacob Harrer (August 16, 2013). "Montford Point Marine awarded Congressional Gold Medal posthumously". 1st Marine Division (United States). Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Viola Elder Obituary (2006)". Los Angeles Daily News. June 16, 2006. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- French, Ellen Dennis (2000). "Larry Elder 1952–". Contemporary Black Biography. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- Gillespie, Nick; Kurtz, Steve (April 1996). "Elder Statesman". Reason. Archived from the original on January 28, 1998. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- Elder 2000, p. 111 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFElder2000 (help)
- David Lewis, Hollywood Star Walk: Larry Elder, Los Angeles Times (April 27, 2015).
- Jerold M. Starr, Air Wars: The Fight to Reclaim Public Broadcasting (Temple University Press, 2001), p. 32.
- Redefining racism : fresh voices from black America, WorldCat.
- "Elder to Make the Judgments on 'Moral Court'". September 29, 2000.
- The Larry Elder Show: TV Series, IMDb.
- Brian Lowry, The Larry Elder Show, Variety (September 19, 2004).
- Perry Seibert (2015). "Michael & Me". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 19, 2015.
- Lycan, Gary (May 13, 2007). "Radio: Elder calls MSNBC stint a 'blast' – Entertainment – OCRegister.com". OCRegister.com. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
- Weigel, David (July 22, 2021). "The Trailer: Whatever happened to Medicare-for-all?". The Washington Post.
- Borge, Jason (July 1995), "Local Hosts Resist Radical Right's Aerial Assault" (PDF), Los Angeles Radio Guide, 1 (8), pp. 19–23, retrieved May 28, 2020 – via AmericanRadioHistory.com
- "Larry Elder Departs From 790 KABC". Talk Radio 790 KABC. December 11, 2008. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- "Larry Elder Returning With Daily Podcast in December". OCRegister.com. November 12, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
- "Larry Elder returning to KABC". Orange County Register. September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on September 25, 2010. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- "'The Sage of South Central' Returns Home". Talk Radio 790 KABC. September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on March 21, 2011.
- "Conservative talk show host Larry Elder fired by KABC". Southern California Public Radio. December 3, 2014.
- Carla Marinucci (July 12, 2021). "Conservative talk show host Larry Elder announces recall bid on radio". Politico.
- "Laradio.com". Retrieved June 1, 2015.
- Elder, Larry. "KRLA/Los Angeles Adds CRN Digital Talk Radio's Larry Elder For Nights". allaccess.com. allaccess.com. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- Lulu Garcia-Navarro (August 16, 2020). "'Hatemonger' Tracks How Right-Wing Media Shaped Trump Policy Architect Stephen Miller". NPR.
- "Larry Elder". www.jewishworldreview.com. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
- "Columnists". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2020.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)As of that date, Elder's most recent and final Daily News column was from April 19, 2012.
- "California: Ex-Talk-Show Host Eyes Boxer Challenge". rollcall.com. April 21, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2009.
- Seipel, Brooke (July 12, 2021). "Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder enters California recall election against Newsom". TheHill. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
- Rainey, James; Mehta, Seema (August 10, 2021). "Larry Elder's outspoken conservative radio rhetoric is under scrunity in recall election". Los Angeles Times.
- Blitzer, Ronn (July 20, 2021). "Larry Elder suing California secretary of state over recall ballot access". Fox News.
- Blood, Michael R. (July 20, 2021). "GOP radio host Larry Elder sues to get on California ballot". Associated Press. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Pollak, Joel (July 21, 2021). "Talk show host Larry Elder reinstated in California recall". Politico. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
- Roos, Meghan (July 21, 2021). "Larry Elder Celebrates 'Total Victory' as Judge Backs His Bid to Join California Recall". Newsweek.
- Koseff, Alexei (July 21, 2021). "Recall lineup thrown in doubt as judge orders Elder's reinstatement". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Rosenhall, Laurel (July 22, 2021). "Republican Talk Show Host Larry Elder Makes California Recall Ballot After All". Time of San Diego. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
I don't find that the recall election is a direct primary election ballot," she said. "And I don't find that Mr. Elder was required to file tax returns at all.
- "Judge puts Larry Elder on recall ballot, throws out tax return requirement". July 23, 2021.
- Marinucci, Carla (August 18, 2021). "GOP frontrunner's recall campaign strategy rankles some Republican activists". Politico PRO. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
- "Republicans avoid Elder allegations during recall debate". Politico. August 20, 2021.
- Chris Jennewein (August 26, 2021). "Kevin Faulconer Challenges Larry Elder to One-on-One Debate in Recall Campaign". Times of San Diego.
- Gustavo Arellano (September 4, 2021). "Column: Larry Elder is the most Latino candidate in California's recall. It won't help him". Los Angeles Times.
- Lonas, Lexi (September 3, 2021). "Elder pledges to replace Feinstein with Republican if he wins California recall election". TheHill. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Corasaniti, Nick (September 12, 2021). "False Election Claims in California Reveal a New Normal for G.O.P." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
- Korte, Lara (September 10, 2021). "Larry Elder prepares for California recall loss with lawyers, voter fraud website". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on September 10, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- Choi, Joseph (September 13, 2021). "Larry Elder campaign spreads baseless claim that recall election ended in fraud before results are declared". The Hill. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Cillizza, Chris (September 14, 2021). "Larry Elder isn't even waiting to call the California recall election a fraud". CNN. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Blood, Michael (September 15, 2021). "GOP's Elder concedes California recall, hints: 'Stay tuned'". Associated Press. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
- Sheeler, Andrew (August 4, 2021). "A right-wing talk show host is leading the California recall election polls. Who is he?". Sacramento Bee.
- Jones, Robert L. (September 8, 2010). "Interview with Larry Elder". The Atlas Society.
- Deruy, Emily (August 3, 2021). "Recall election: Conservative radio host Larry Elder on Gavin Newsom, COVID and whether Trump lost in 2020". The Mercury News. Bay Area News Group.
- "Gov. Newsom says recall candidate Larry Elder will roll back California laws". Los Angeles Times. August 6, 2021. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
- Haskell, Josh (August 5, 2021). "Larry Elder: 'I have no intention of getting rid of the minimum wage'". KABC-TV. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
- "Larry Elder once called Donald Trump 'almost God-sent.' Now he's 'indifferent' about a Trump endorsement". Los Angeles Times. September 4, 2021. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Michael R. Blood (August 30, 2021). "GOP's Larry Elder looks for shock win in California recall". Associated Press – via MSN.
- Larry Elder (September 11, 2000). "The Ten Things You Can't Say in America". Publishers Weekly.
- William H. Peterson (October 1, 2001). "The Ten Things You Can't Say in America by Larry Elder". FEE.
- "'The ideal minimum wage is $0.00.' Leading candidate to replace Newsom wants no requirement". Sacramento Bee. 2021.
- Elder, Larry (December 26, 2019). "America's Real 'Freedom Dividend': Hard Work and Pro-Business Policies". Creators.com. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
- John Kass (July 1, 2021). "Column: What frightens the American left: Larry Elder's new documentary 'Uncle Tom'". Chicago Tribune.
- Zurcher, Anthony (November 14, 2021). "The risky business of fact-checking opinions". BBC.
- Katie Sanders (November 11, 2013). "Larry Elder Says Government Takes Almost 50 Percent of the American People's Money". Tampa Bay Times.
- Katie Sanders (November 4, 2013). ""When you add a dollar value to mandates," government took almost 50 percent "of the American people's money."". PolitiFact.
- Tom Coulter (August 2, 2021). "GOP recall candidate Larry Elder aims to help voters 'connect the dots'". The Desert Sun. Palm Springs, California.
- Andrew Kaczynski, Em Steck and Drew Myers (August 20, 2021). "'Women exaggerate the problem of sexism': Top California recall candidate Larry Elder has a long history of making disparaging remarks about women". CNN.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Lara Korte (August 20, 2021). "Recall candidate Larry Elder under fire for comments on women, allegations from former fiancée". Sacramento Bee.
- Maanvi Singh, 'A complete shock': the rightwing contrarian leading the California recall race, The Guardian (August 22, 2021).
- Jeremy B. White & Carla Marinucci, He opposes gun control, the minimum wage — and could be California's next governor, Politico (August 17, 2017).
- Salcedo, Andrea (August 20, 2021). "California gubernatorial candidate says employers should be allowed to ask women if they plan to have children". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
- Vlamis, Kelsey (August 19, 2021). "California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder said employers should be able to ask women if and when they plan to get pregnant". Business Insider. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
- Ronayne, Kathleen (August 18, 2021). "Faulconer hits GOP rival Elder as California recall heats up". AP News. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
- Luthi, Susannah (September 3, 2021). "Newsom hits Elder over anti-abortion activist tweet". Politico PRO.
- Kathleen Ronayne & Michael R. Blood, Gov. Newsom calls GOP rivals 'anti-vax,' but are they?, Associated Press (September 3, 2021).
- Korte, Lara (August 27, 2021). "California recall candidate Larry Elder says 'systemic racism is a lie.' Here's why". Sacramento Bee.
- "Larry Elder levels accusation against Gavin Newsom's wife two days before recall election".
- Marinucci, Carla (August 19, 2021). "Elder's ex-fiancee said he brandished a gun at her". Politico.
- White, Jeremy B. (August 20, 2021). "Jenner, Faulconer call on Elder to exit California recall". Politico PRO. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
- Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck (September 3, 2021). "Larry Elder disclosed sexual harassment allegations on 2011 radio show, but implied one woman was too ugly for it to be true". CNN.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- For Goodness Sake II. May 19, 1996. OCLC 370275688.
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