Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder

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Date published 2021-08-27
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Summary Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder (born April 27, 1952) is an American conservative talk radio host, author, and attorney. Elder is currently a candidate for governor of California, running as a Republican to replace Gavin Newsom in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election. Elder said that he was encouraged to run by fellow conservative talk-radio figure Dennis Prager - a mentor to Elder, and the cofounder of the disinformation juggernaut PragerU. Larry Elder is a conservative, right-wing (Trumpist) politician exposing libertarian views via mass media (Christian right: Salem Media Group), videos (The Epoch Times, a disinformation source), television, etc. Larry Elder has a history of anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, and misogynistic statements, as well as promulgating various conspiracy theories (second-hand tobacco smoke; climate change denial; COVID-19 treatments; etc.) and libertarian objectives (anti-taxation; anti-minimum wage; privatization of schools; etc.). Larry Elder's ideology largely aligns with that of PragerU, which is acting upon those agendae.
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Laurence Allen Elder
Larry Elder in 2103.
Name Laurence Allen Elder
Born 1952-04-27
Birthplace Los Angeles, California, USA
Nationality American
  • Brown University (BA)
  • University of Michigan (Juris Doctor)
Occupation Radio show host  |  writer  |  attorney
Political party Republican Party
Known for
Influenced by
Influencer of


Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder (born April 27, 1952) is an American conservative talk radio host, author, 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. Elder is currently a candidate for governor of California, running as a Republican Party to replace Gavin Newsom in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election.

Early Life and Education

Elder was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the city's Pico-Union and South Central areas. 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 passing 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.

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.

Legal Career

After graduation, 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.

Media Career

Television, Film, and Video

After a successful audition, Larry Elder began co-hosting Fabric, a topic-oriented television show produced by Dennis Goulden that aired on Cleveland's PBS member station WVIZ in 1988.

In 1997, Larry Elder 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, Larry 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 Brothers.

In 2005, Larry Elder created a self-financed film called Michael & Me, in which he offers a rebuttal to filmmaker Michael Moore's   Bowling for Columbine.

In 2007, Larry Elder was one of the rotating talk hosts auditioning for the slot vacated by the now-canceled Imus in the Morning on MSNBC. However, the job instead went to Joe Scarborough.

Larry Elder is a columnist with Creators Syndicate. His newspaper and online column are carried by Investor's Business Daily,   World Net Daily,,   Jewish World Review, and FrontPage Magazine.

Larry Elder 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, 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. On September 27, 2010, Elder returned to KABC.

On December 2, 2014, Elder was fired from KABC following his afternoon broadcast. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.

On June 1, 2015, Elder joined the lineup of CRN Digital Talk Radio Networks. His program is heard from noon to 3 PM on CRN Channel 1 and is replayed from 3 to 6 PM on CRN Channel 5.

In August 2015, The Larry Elder Show began national syndication through the Salem Radio Network, including Los Angeles station KRLA.

Stephen Miller

Jean Guerrero, in a 2020 interview on NPR, said that Larry 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. Stephen 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, Larry 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.

Political Positions

Larry 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 the 1976 U.S. presidential election. Elder labels himself a "small-l" libertarian as opposed to a member of the Libertarian Party.

Larry Elder is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, frequently praising him on Twitter. Elder has argued that it is unfair to blame Trump for the 2021 United States Capitol attack.

Economic Issues

In his 2000 book, The Ten Things You Can't Say In America, Larry 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.

Larry 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, Larry Elder attacked 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 ReformPolitiFact rated Larry Elder's claim "Mostly False."

Larry 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.

Social Issues

Larry Elder has argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, calling the decision "one of the worst decisions that the Supreme Court ever handed down." Larry Elder has called abortion "murder" and believes that abortion laws should be decided at the state level.

Larry Elder has a history of making anti-LGBT remarks on Twitter.

In 2021, Larry 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

During his media career, Larry Elder published and gave airtime to misinformation and fringe views on scientific topics, such as secondhand tobacco smokeclimate change, and COVID-19 treatments.

In a 2000 book, Larry 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.

Larry 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 climate change is occurring ("I do believe in climate change. I do believe our climate is getting warmer."). However, he contended that the scientific consensus on climate change (i.e., that human activity is the primary contributor) "is debatable" and continued to criticize what he called "climate-change alarmism."

In 2021, Larry 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. In 2020, while denying that Donald Trump mismanaged the response to COVID-19, Elder sought to justify Trump's refusal to wear a mask in public and defended Trump's mass political rallies that he continued to hold at the height of the pandemic. In 2021, he 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."

Larry Elder has proposed suspending or waiving the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, contending that doing so would speed up housing construction.

Political Activities

Roll Call reported that Elder contemplated a possible run for the United States Senate against California Senator Barbara Boxer in 2010.

2021 California gubernatorial recall election

In July 2021, Larry Elder announced that he was running against 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 Larry 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, required for candidates after the recent passage of Senate Bill 27, which mandated tax return disclosure for both presidential and gubernatorial candidates in order to appear on a primary ballot (the presidential requirement was struck down by the courts). Elder sued, saying that his paperwork was properly submitted. 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 tax return requirement in Senate Bill 27 applied to "direct primary election" ballots and not special recall elections.

After his entry, Larry Elder has been regarded as the front-runner on the election's replacement question. However, he has refused to participate in debates, or even to share a stage with certain other candidates at Republican party events.


In mid-August, Larry Elder came under criticism for his past statements about women. He has written that "Women know less than men about political issues, economics, and current events." Public comments have included suggesting that women who took part in the 2017 Women's March were obese and unattractive, scoffing at premenstrual syndrome by saying PMS stands for "Punish My Spouse," endorsing pregnancy discrimination by employers, and claiming that statistics about domestic violence against women are exaggerated to promote feminism. In addition, his former fiancee, Alexandra Datig, accused him of abuse. 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.


  • 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.

  • Originally published as Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card and Lose. New York: St. Martin's Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-312-36733-6. OCLC 263707542.

  • 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.

  • Filmography

  • 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)

  • See Also

  • Black conservatism in the United States

  • Additional Reading

  • [, 2021-08-29] Right-wing radio host who once mentored xenophobe Stephen Miller could replace California's Gov. Newsom.  Right-wing extremists hope to game a flawed system in California's recall - and elect a Trump-like governor. "The conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is now the Republican front-runner challenging Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom in a special election that could also shape national politics. California voters cast ballots on September 14 on whether to recall Newsom, after a right-wing campaign to unseat the governor garnered enough signatures to trigger the vote. If Newsom fails to get more than 50% support for staying in office, the candidate with the most votes replaces him as governor. 'This whole thing started with anti-immigrant nativists in California who were upset about the pro-immigrant, pro-Latino policies that Gavin Newsom was putting in place,' says Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero. '[Elder] basically wants to take California back to the 1990s, when we saw an incredibly anti-immigrant and anti-Black decade in California.' Elder was a mentor to Stephen Miller, the xenophobic, anti-immigration former Trump adviser, which Guerrero writes about in her book, 'Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda.' ..."

  • [, 2020-08-25] Larry Elder's ex-fiancee reports alleged 2015 gun incident to LAPD.  Alexandra Datig filed a report with the LAPD alleging that Elder, the California recall frontrunner, once pushed her and checked a gun to see if it was loaded during a 2015 argument. ...

  • [, 2021-08-19] Larry Elder's ex-fiancee said he brandished a gun at her.  Alexandra Datig, the former fiancee and longtime radio producer for California GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, says she broke off an 18-month engagement with the conservative talk show host in 2015 after he waved a gun at her while high on marijuana. ...

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