American talk show host Jerry Springer died this morning at his home in Chicago. His family confirms to showbiz medium TMZ that he suffered from cancer and died after a short illness. He was 79 years old.
Springer became world famous in the 90s with his controversial talk show The Jerry Springer Show. The program was first shown on American television in 1991 and was initially intended as a serious talk show that mainly discussed politics. Springer, a Democrat, had previously served as mayor of the city of Cincinnati and had run for governor of Ohio.
Cabinet of curiosities
The serious approach of his show was not a success. Instead, the show developed into a cabinet of curiosities where emotions ran high. In The Jerry Springer Show, which was later also shown in the Netherlands, ordinary Americans came to talk about personal issues and relational dramas.
That resulted in spectacular television. Quite often guests on stage were unpleasantly surprised, for example because they heard that their partner was cheating or was a member of an extreme right-wing group. Fights broke out regularly and chairs and glasses of water were thrown around the studio, as the audience screamed “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!” scanned. The ever-present security guards became semi-celebrities.
An exemplary episode of The Jerry Springer Show, original airing date unknown:
Dumping My Baby Mama For A Bigger Booty
Springers’ program became a ratings gun and was presented by him for no less than 27 years. The show ended in 2018. After that, Springer made three more seasons of the Judge Jerry program.
Born in a subway station
The presenter also had a special life story. He was born in 1944 in London’s Highgate tube station. His parents, Jewish refugees from Germany, took shelter there from a German bombing raid. In 1949 the family left London and the young Springer emigrated to New York.
In the 1960s he studied political science at universities in New Orleans and Chicago. In his student days he was heard for the first time as a commentator on the radio. After a brief career as a campaign aide to Robert F. (Bobby) Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, Springer entered politics himself. Beginning in the 1980s, he was a reporter and newscaster for a local NBC station.
The presenter was last seen on television last year. He then participated in the American version of the program The Masked Singer.