Farewell Jerry Springer: The King of Comedy Dies at 79


One of the most recognizable and divisive faces in daytime television has passed away. On April 27, 2023, at his Chicago home, Jerry Springer, the venerable host of The Jerry Springer Show, passed away. Age-wise, he was 79. In a statement announcing his passing, his family stated that he passed away “peacefully” after a protracted fight with cancer.

In addition to hosting chat shows, Springer also wrote. He was also an actor, broadcaster, lawyer, and politician. Over five decades, he had a tremendous and varied career. He had a reputation for being able to relate to people from various backgrounds, whether they were viewers of his show, residents of his hometown, or supporters from around the world.

Jerry Springer

Springer’s estate is thought to be worth between $60 million and $75 million, based on several sources. In addition, he leaves behind Katie Springer, a 47-year-old daughter he shared with his ex-wife Micki Velton. After 21 years of marriage, the pair were divorced in 1994.

Early Life and Background

During World War II, Springer was born on February 13, 1944, in London, England. Margot and Richard Springer, his parents, were German Jews who fled Nazi-occupied Poland. His paternal grandmother passed away in the Theresienstadt concentration camp hospital, while his maternal grandmother passed away in the gas vans of the Chemno extermination camp.

Springer’s family moved to the United States in January 1949 when he was four years old, settling in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York City. He went to public schools while growing up and lived in a small apartment. In 1954, he attained naturalization.

Political Career

Early on, Springer became interested in politics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University in 1965 and a juris doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in 1968. During Robert Kennedy’s campaign for president that year, he served as a campaign assistant.

From Ohio’s second congressional district, Springer campaigned as a Democrat but was defeated by Republican incumbent Donald Clancy. After that, he joined Cincinnati’s Frost & Jacobs as a partner.

Springer was chosen to serve on the Cincinnati City Council in 1974 and did so until 1977. He resigned after confessing to using a personal cheque to pay for a prostitute during a police raid on a massage business. In 1975, he successfully ran for reelection and took back his seat.

Springer was elected mayor of Cincinnati in 1977 and held the position for a single year. At the time, he was the city’s youngest mayor ever. In 1982 and 2000, he made unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Senate and Ohio governorships, respectively.

Broadcasting Career

At the start of his broadcasting career, Springer worked as a political analyst for Cincinnati’s WLWT-TV, an NBC affiliate. He was recognized for his work with seven regional Emmy Awards, and in 1982 he was named the station’s lead newscaster.

The Jerry Springer Show, Springer’s talk show, debuted in Chicago in 1991 after he relocated there. Initially covering serious issues like homelessness, racism, and domestic abuse, the program eventually began to focus on sensational and provocative topics like adultery, incest, and paternity testing.

The program became a big success and a sensation in culture. Millions of people tuned in to see Springer’s guests expose their secrets, face their foes and frequently get into physical altercations on stage. The fights frequently required the intervention of Springer’s security crew, which was led by Steve Wilkos.

Additionally, the program sparked debate and condemnation for its exploitation of human suffering and the degrading of social norms. Critics have said that Springer staged or scripted a few of the episodes to boost his ratings. Some visitors filed lawsuits against Springer for libel or psychological harm.

Despite the criticism, the program ran for approximately 4,000 episodes over 27 years till it was canceled in 2018. It was syndicated in more than 50 nations and gave rise to several ripoffs and imitators. Additionally, it served as the basis for the 2003–2005 run of the musical Jerry Springer: The Opera in London.

Springer’s slogan “Take care of yourself and each other” became his trademark closing line after each episode.

Other Ventures

Throughout his career, Springer also pursued additional entertainment and media endeavors. Ringmaster (1998), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015) are just a few of the films he appeared in. Additionally, he appeared in Jerry Springer: The Musical, a musical comedy that toured the UK in 2018.

He took Regis Philbin’s place as host of the reality series America’s Got Talent in 2007 and 2008. In addition, he presented the 2015 sequel Baggage on the Road and the game program Baggage from 2010 until 2015.

In 2015, he started his podcast, The Jerry Springer Podcast, where he and his co-hosts Jene Galvin and Megan Hils talked about politics, popular culture, and personal experiences.

He made a comeback to television in 2019 with a new program called Judge Jerry, where he served as a judge in minor claims disputes. After being extended for a fourth season in 2022, the program was canceled due to Springer’s declining health.


In the history of television and the media, Jerry Springer was a distinctive and significant character. With his wild and unabashed approach, he surprised and amused millions of people. Additionally, he had a tremendous and varied career that lasted for more than five decades. He held positions in politics, broadcasting, law, and acting.

Whether they were viewers of his show, local electors, or followers from around the world, he will be remembered for his capacity to relate to people from all walks of life. The idiom “Take care of yourself and each other” that highlighted his humanity and compassion will also be recalled.

We send our sympathies and gratitude to his family, friends, and supporters. His loss is deeply felt since he was irreplaceable. In the words of one of his former guests, “Jerry Springer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” He was the master of comedy and conflict. Jerry Springer was him.

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