Gerald Norman Springer
Real name Gerald Norman Springer, Jerry Springer was born in a tube station in Highgate, London, England, to Polish Jewish parents who escaped Germany during the Holocaust. At the age of 5, he and his family moved to the United States and settled in Queens, New York.
He went on to earn a law degree from Northwestern University in 1968 and worked as a presidential campaign advisor for Robert F. Kennedy. Springer launched his own congressional campaign in 1970, which he lost, but later got elected to the Cincinnati City Council. He briefly served as mayor of the Ohio city from 1977 to 1978.
The host began his TV career as a reporter and commentator for Cincinnati’s local NBC affiliate WLWT, scoring 10 local Emmy Awards during his time there. Springer became a household name with the premiere of his eponymous series — Jerry Springer — in 1991. What started as a politically-oriented talk show later turned into the controversial, chair-throwing, profanity-full show fans will remember it as thanks to Springer and producer Richard Dominick.
The series ran for 28 seasons through 2018, after which Springer the court show Judge Jerry for three seasons from 2019 to 2022. In addition to creating a podcast and appearing in films and shows such as Ringmaster, The Defender and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, he competed on season 8 of The Masked Singer as the Beetle.
The Ringmaster! author shared his daughter, Katie, with his wife, Micki Velton, whom he married in 1973.
Springer died on April 27, 2023 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 79.