Presenter Jerry Springer on stage at the 2nd Annual Global TV Demand Awards at Fontainebleau Hotel on January 21, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Parrot Analytics).
Controversial Talk Show Host Jerry Springer Has Died
Legendary talk show host and former mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer, has died after a lengthy cancer battle.
Jerry Springer, best known as the host of the controversial NBC talk show The Jerry Springer Show, has died at 79. TMZ reported the news on Thursday (April 27), with a source confirming that Springer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months prior. On Thursday morning, Springer died at his home in Chicago.
Born Gerald Norman Springer on February 13, 1944, Springer’s parents immigrated to the United States from Landsberg an der Warthe, Prussia during World War II. Springer lived with his family in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, New York, developing an interest in politics, later earning a B.A. in political science from Tulane University and a J.D. degree from Northwestern University in the 1960s.
Springer would continue his political streak in the ‘70s, running an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Congress in 1970. He was elected to Cincinnati's City Council the following year and became the city’s mayor in 1977, where he served one term.
After leaving politics, Springer joined Cincinnati television station WLWT as a news anchor, which became the launchpad for his memorable career in talk show history. Due to his experience as a political reporter and commentator, Springer would begin his legendary tabloid talk show on NBC in 1991. The daytime talk show regularly consisted of profane guests, heated rifts between couples, and occasional chair-throwing. The behavior would prompt the now-signature cheer “Jerry-Jerry-Jerry” from show attendees. In 1997 and 1998, The Jerry Springer Show would see ratings peak, beating out The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was also filmed in Chicago throughout the decade. The show’s former director of security, Steve Wilkos, would launch his own spinoff series in 2007. After 4,000 episodes, Springer went off-air in 2018.
Jerry would later have hosting duties on courtroom show Judge Jerry and America’s Got Talent. Springer’s last television appearance would be in October 2022, where he performed as “The Beetle” on the Fox music competition The Masked Singer. For the remainder of his life, Springer returned to Cincinnati, where he hosted a folk music radio show.