Talk Show Host Jerry Springer Dead at Age 79

Talk Show Host Jerry Springer Dead at Age 79

( – Jerry Springer, one of the leading stars of reality TV, has died at age 79. Springer had a long and varied career, but achieved fame in the 1990s for his often controversial talk show. However, before that, he had a political career and ambitions.

Gerald Norman Springer was the son of German Jewish refugees who fled from Nazi Germany before WWII. He was born in London on February 13, 1944, in the Highgate London Underground station, where his family had taken refuge from German bombers. The Springers emigrated to the US in 1949, and in 1965 Gerald, now known as Gerry, graduated from Tulane University with a BA in political science. He went on to get a law degree from Northwestern University.

Springer’s first job was as a political adviser to Robert F Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. After RFK’s assassination, he went to work for a law firm in Cincinnati, Ohio; he continued working as a lawyer until 1985. Along the way, he made an unsuccessful bid for a House seat in 1970, served on the Cincinnati City Council intermittently from 1971 to 1981 and was mayor for a year from 1977 to 1978. He tried — and failed — to win the Democrat nomination for the 1981 Ohio gubernatorial race, and then decided on a career change and went into the media.

In fact, Springer was no stranger to his new profession; as an undergrad at Tulane, he helped present a college radio station. While he was mayor of Cincinnati, he worked for a local rock music station. Then, in 1988, he started working for WLWT, the local NBC affiliate. He quickly turned around its news service, the lowest-ranked in the city, and became Cincinnati’s most popular news anchor.

Springer’s real break came in 1991 when the “Jerry Springer Show” launched. Starting out as a political talk show, it quickly morphed into the now-notorious format where ordinary people would be presented with evidence of a spouse or relative’s misbehavior and their reactions filmed and other such controversial topics. Critics hated it — but the public loved it, and it ran for over 5,000 episodes.

The show finally ended in 2018, and Springer faded from public view. On April 27, he died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Evanston, Illinois, with his family at his side.

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