TV Personality Jerry Springer Dead At 79

jerry springer

The longtime host of The Jerry Springer Show and former mayor of Cincinnati died peacefully Thursday at his home in suburban Chicago. 

Jerry Springer was one of the most controversial and influential figures in television history. With his talk show, The Jerry Springer Show, running for 27 years, we saw fights, drama, and probably too many personal details every week, followed by the iconic chants, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!”

After battling what a family spokesperson called a “brief illness,” Jerry Springer died Thursday morning peacefully at his home in the Chicago area.

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“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,” Jene Galvin, a lifelong friend and spokesman for the family said. “He’s irreplaceable, and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart, and humor will live on.”

Prior to his run on television, which ran from 1991-2018, Springer was the 56th Mayor of Cincinnati from 1977-78, after an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1970. He also was seen on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, starred in the film Ringmaster, and competed on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Springer then hosted Judge Jerry—a courtroom reality series that lasted from 2019 to 2022.

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Springer’s last TV appearance may have been on Fox’s The Masked Singer, where he was revealed in October of last year to be “The Beetle” after singing a Frank Sinatra song.

While his TV show was rife with absurdities, he said in a 2015 episode: “Know this—there’s never been a moment in the 25 years of doing this show that I ever thought I was better than the people who appear on our stage. I’m not better. Only luckier.”

He was born on February 13th, 1944, in London, at an underground railway station that was being used as a bomb shelter. His parents, Richard and Margot, were German Jews who fled to England during the Holocaust. His family then emigrated to the United States when he was 5 and lived in Queens. He’s survived by his daughter Katie Springer and his older sister Evelyn.

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