The 79-year-old host died of pancreatic cancer, his publicist told NBC News on Thursday, April 27.
Us Weekly confirmed earlier on Thursday that Springer battled a brief illness in recent weeks.
“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,” family spokesperson Jene Galvin told Us. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on. To remember Jerry, the family asks that in lieu of flowers you consider following his spirit and make a donation or commit to an act of kindness to someone in need or a worthy advocacy organization.”
Galvin concluded: “As he always said, ‘Take care of yourself, and each other.’”
Springer — who is survived by his 47-year-old daughter, Katie, and his wife, Micki Velton, whom he wed in 1973 — was surrounded by his loved ones at his home in Illinois when he died on Thursday.
“Other than my father, Jerry was the most influential man in my life. Everything I have today, I owe to Jerry,” Wilkos, 59, told Us Weekly in a statement. “He was the smartest, most generous, kindest person I’ve ever known. My wife [Rachelle Wilkos] and I are devastated. We will miss him terribly.”
After his lengthy run on Jerry Springer, which aired from 1991 to 2018, Wilkos launched The Steve Wilkos Show.
Springer, meanwhile, went on to host Judge Jerry from 2019 to 2022. Most recently, he appeared on season 8 of The Masked Singer as the Beetle in 2022.
“I’m not trying to build a career or anything, because this would be a career ender, anyway,” he joked of the FOX show. “My dad used to tell me be careful what the last thing you’re going to be remembered for is. So if it’s this appearance, if this is how it ends … But it wasn’t actually a hard decision [to join the show] at all.”
He added: “It was just a couple of days, and everyone was just as nice as could be.”