Remembering Jerry Springer: The Legacy of a Talk Show Icon

Jerry Springer, the legendary talk show host and former mayor of Cincinnati, has passed away at the age of 79.[0] His family confirmed his death in a statement, saying that his ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried, whether it was politics, broadcasting, or just joking with people on the street.[1] Springer's daytime talk show “The Jerry Springer Show” ran for 27 years and was known for its raucous and controversial content, showing huge brawls on stage while the audience chanted “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry” during the intro.[2]

Despite the success of his talk show, the Jerry Springer brand had an expiration date, and after it was canceled in 2018, he started another show called “Judge Jerry” which lasted from 2019 to 2022.[3] Springer's final TV appearance was on “The Masked Singer” in 2022.[2] Surviving Springer are his sister, Evelyn, and daughter, Katie Springer.[2]

Springer was born in London in 1944 to German Jewish parents who had fled Nazi Germany during the Holocaust and sought safety in England.[4] He practiced law in Cincinnati before getting into politics, becoming a news anchor and commentator at the Cincinnati television station WLWT, and then transitioning to hosting his eponymous talk show in the early '90s.[4] He served as the mayor of Cincinnati for a year beginning in 1977.[4]

Springer's death was caused by pancreatic cancer, an aggressive and deadly form of the disease.[5] Although some people may live longer depending on the type of cancer, its location, and the treatment received, the five-year survival rate for most cancer patients is low.[6]

In his heyday, Jerry Springer consistently played down the significance of his talk show and its drift into what became known as “trash TV,” dismissing the daytime program as “stupid” and basically a big joke that the audience was in on.[7] However, the introduction of “The Jerry Springer Show” resulted in negative consequences for television, as it paved the way for the rise of reality TV that promoted a “anything-goes” attitude and a more vicious mindset that permeated throughout the media landscape.[7]

Despite the controversies surrounding his show, Springer was beloved by many. Talk show host Steve Wilkos, a former Chicago police officer, got his start as a security guard on “The Jerry Springer Show,” and he spoke about Springer's impact on his life, saying, “Other than my father, Jerry was the most influential man in my life.[8] Jerry is the reason for everything I have today.[9] I have never known anyone who was as intelligent, generous, and kind as he was.[10] Devastation has befallen my spouse and myself.[10] We will miss him terribly.”[10]

To remember Jerry, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a worthy advocacy organization, or people commit to an act of kindness to someone in need.[10] As he always said, “Take care of yourself, and each other.”[10] Preparations are underway for both the funeral services and a commemorative assembly.[5]

0. “Jerry Springer: Era-defining TV host dies aged 79” BBC, 27 Apr. 2023,

1. “Jerry Springer, talk show host and former Cincinnati mayor, dies at 79” NPR, 27 Apr. 2023,

2. “How Did Jerry Springer Die? He Was Terminally Diagnosed Right Before His Death” Yahoo Life, 27 Apr. 2023,

3. “”The Jerry Springer Show” was far from harmless trash” MSNBC, 30 Apr. 2023,

4. “Jerry Springer, influential US talkshow host, dies aged 79” The Guardian US, 27 Apr. 2023,

5. “Jerry Springer, legendary talk show host, dead at 79” WLWT Cincinnati, 29 Apr. 2023,

6. “Jerry Springer’s cancer: What is pancreatic cancer; what are the symptoms; prognosis” WSB Atlanta, 28 Apr. 2023,

7. “TV paid a price for the legacy of ‘The Jerry Springer Show'” CNN, 28 Apr. 2023,

8. “Steve Wilkos: Jerry Springer didn't reveal he had cancer before death” Insider, 29 Apr. 2023,

9. “Jerry Springer, Talk Show Host and Former Cincinnati Mayor, Dead at 79” TODAY, 27 Apr. 2023,

10. “Jerry Springer, host of ‘The Jerry Springer Show,' dies at 79” NBC News, 27 Apr. 2023,

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