Talk show host Jerry Springer is turning 78 years old today!
Springer was born Gerald Norman Springer on February 13, 1944. He has become one of the most famous faces on TV after hosting his talk show “Jerry Springer,” which ran from September 30, 1991, to July 26, 2018. He has most recently been hosting his “Judge Jerry” courtroom show since 2019.
Fans are celebrating Springer’s birthday by taking a look back at 78 years of accomplishment!
Jerry Springer Was Born During The London Bombing, His Family Was Lost To The Holocaust
Springer was actually born in the London Underground Station of Highgate when it was being used as a shelter from the German bombing that took place during World War II. He later grew up on Chandos Road in East Finchley. His mother, Margot Kallmann was a bank clerk and his father, Richard Springer, was the owner of a shoe shop.
His parents had been German-Jewish refugees who had escaped from Prussia. His maternal grandmother, Marie Kallmann, was unfortunately left behind. She passed away in the gas vans of the Chelmno extermination camp in German-occupied Poland. His paternal grandmother, Selma Elkeles, passed away at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Her brother, a renowned British doctor named Hermann Elkeles, also passed away there.
In January 1949, Springer emigrated to the United States at the age of 4. His parents took up residents in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens in New York City. He grew up and attended Forest Hills High School.
Jerry Springer Decides To Embark On A Political Career
When he was 12 years old, he watched the 1956 Democratic National Convention on TV and was impressed by John F. Kennedy. This would later be fundamental to his own political future.
Springer graduated from Tulane University in 1965 after majoring in political science. He later earned a Doctor of Law degree from Northwestern University in 1968. He became a political campaign advisor to Robert F. Kennedy. After his assassination, he started practicing at the Cincinnati law firm Frost & Jacobs. He was also a partner at the law firm Grinker, Sudman & Springer from 1973 to 1985.
In 1970, he decided to run for Congress. Although he didn’t unseat incumbent Republican Donald D. Clancy, he still managed to secure 45% of the vote. Springer was also an Army Reservist at the time and was called into active duty, where he was stationed at Fort Knox. He resumed his campaign after he was discharged and was elected to Cincinnati City Council in 1971. However, he resigned in 1974 after admitting to soliciting a prostitute. Many felt that it was the end of his career, but he won back in 1975 after he confessed his mistakes.
In 1977, he was chosen to serve one year as mayor due to a political arrangement at the time. In 1982, he tried to secure a nomination as the governor of Ohio. He failed to win the race, and, less than a decade later, he began the Jerry Springer show. He considered running for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and 2004 but decided against it due to backlash from his show.
The ‘Jerry Springer’ Show: Founding A Pop Culture Phenomenon
— The Jerry Springer Show (@SpringerTV) January 26, 2022
The very first episode of the “Jerry Springer” show debuted on September 30, 1991. It was meant to mimic “The Phil Donahue Show,” which was popular at the time. It started as a political talk show, which featured controversial topics like homelessness and gun control.
In 1994, Springer and producer Richard Dominick tried to find a way to build ratings. Viewership skyrocketed after the show became less political and more sensational. Guests started confronting their family members about controversial topics, such as cheating, homosexuality, prostitution, or other polarizing situations. Some encounters on stage turned violent and featured guests pulling each other’s hair or hitting each other with chairs. By 1998, it was even more popular than “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in many cities.
— Judge Jerry (@JudgeJerryTV) March 1, 2021
The show lasted for 27 seasons until it finished its run on July 26, 2018. The CW began airing reruns of the show on September 10, 2018, which continues to this day. On September 9, 2019, Springer returned with a brand new courtroom TV show entitled “Judge Jerry,” which often features family members or friends suing each other for small sums of money.
🎉 JUDGE JERRY RENEWED FOR SEASON 3! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/cEYpCioBJQ
— Judge Jerry (@JudgeJerryTV) March 23, 2021