Jerry Springer Dies: Legendary Talk Show Host Was 79

Jerry Springer Dies: Legendary Talk Show Host Was 79

April 27, 2023

Jerry Springer, the legendary talk show host and daytime TV star, has died aged 79.

The broadcaster, journalist, and former Cincinnati Mayor passed away peacefully at his home in Chicago, according to a statement.

A statement from family spokesman Jene Galvinissued to WLWT, where he once worked, read: “Jerry’s ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word. He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.”

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According to TMZ, he had been fighting cancer over the past months and had recently taken a turn for the worse.

Springer was known for Jerry Springer, the mega-popular but controversial syndicated talk show that ran for nearly 5,000 episodes. After launching with a focus on politics, it retooled and became a ratings smash and cultural phenomenon as a tabloid-style program with focuses on hot-button topics. Many guests would swear or end up in fights as they told their salacious stories.

Springer would act as the fatherly figure overseeing the proceedings, and despite the chaos, he would sign off every episode with a final thought, saying: “Take care of yourselves and each other.”

“I don’t watch the show, but it’s not aimed at 66-year-old men,” Springer said in a 2010 TODAY show interview celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary. “If I were in college, I would watch. I enjoy doing it. It’s a lot of fun.”

Before starting a career in broadcasting, Springer had a protracted political career, serving on the Cincinnati City Council before being elected mayor in 1977. He served one term. Springer was also a political campaign adviser to Robert F Kennedy in the 60s. In 1982, Springer launched a failed campaign to become Ohio mayor.

Springer also hosted NBC’s America’s Got Talent for three years and returned to daytime TV in 2019 when he launched the court show Judge Jerry, which ran for three seasons before being canceled at NBC. After the show was dropped, Springer told the press that he plans to retire from public life. “I’m 78 and have been in front of the camera now for 40 years, plus 10 years in politics. I’m winding down,” he said in an interview at the time.

He added: “We taped Judge Jerry for the entire season, and I want to try out retirement while I’m still healthy.”

Springer made one of his final on-screen appearances late last year on Fox’s popular show The Masked Singer, where he performed in a large Beetle costume.

He is survived by his daughter Katie Springer and his older sister Evelyn.

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