Jerry Springer, the American talk show host, has passed away at the age of 79.

Friday 28 April 2023

TV personality Jerry Springer, known for a long-running talk show that featured raucous audiences, controversial topics and fist-fighting guests, died at age 79 on the 27th of April , his family said.

Springer died peacefully after a brief illness at his home in suburban Chicago, his family said in a statement. The cause of death was not specified.

"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," lifelong friend and family spokesman Jene Galvin said in the statement.

Springer was born in London on 13 February 1944, and immigrated to New York City when he was four years old. In 1965, Springer graduated from Tulane University and then went to Northwestern University where he got a law degree, before serving in the United States Army Reserves.

He moved to Ohio, where he served on the city council and then as the city's 56th mayor in 1977. Five years later, he ran for the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor, but lost.

Springer then worked as a news anchor at WLWT 5, an NBC Cincinnati affiliate. In 1991, he landed his own television programme, a syndicated talk show broadcast across the United States until 2018.

The daytime programme, The Jerry Springer Show, was initially a politically oriented show but later featured everyday people discussing sensationalistic topics.

Guests came to talk about family problems and expose adultery and other transgressions.

Springer would supposedly try to mediate but the encounters often ended up in fist-fights, with guests being held back by security guards.

The audience would regularly chant "Jerry! Jerry!" when tensions became heightened during the episodes.

On his Twitter page, Springer described himself as a "talk show host, ringmaster of civilization's end."

Springer called his programme "escapist entertainment", but others saw the show as contributing to a dumbing-down of television and a decline in social values.

He often jokingly told people he met that his wish for them was: "May you never be on my show."

His show was the subject of a British musical, Jerry Springer: The Opera, which was performed in London, Las Vegas and New York City between 2001 and 2019.

In 2006, Springer enjoyed a long run on the popular Dancing With the Stars TV show. He also hosted several TV shows, including America's Got Talent and pageants such as the 2008 Miss Universe contest.