Jerry is a British-born American television presenter and a cultural icon, best-known for his talk show The Jerry Springer Show. In addition to talk show host, he has been the mayor of Cincinnati, political pundit, lawyer, award-winning newscaster, country recording artist, international Emcee, TV personality, movie star, Broadway actor, progressive talk-radio broadcaster, and even won America’s heart with his ballroom dancing.
He was born in Highgate tube station in London, England, while the station was in use as a shelter from German bombing during World War II and grew up on Chandos Road, East Finchley.
Springer earned a degree in political science at Tulane University. He then received his law degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. After joining a law firm in Cincinnati, he spearheaded the movement in Ohio to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, culminating with his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony supporting ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. He ran for Congress in 1970 and nearly beat the entrenched Republican incumbent. In 1971, he won a seat on Cincinnati City Council and served five terms before becoming mayor at the age of 33 with the largest plurality in the city’s history.
The Jerry Springer Show
The Jerry Springer Show debuted on September 30, 1991. It was developed by WLWT to mimic the format and look of fellow talk show Donahue, all the way down to Jerry’s haircut and glasses, making him look like Phil Donahue. It started as a politically oriented talk show, a longer version of Springer’s commentaries. Guests included Oliver North and Jesse Jackson, and topics included homelessness and gun politics.
In early 1994, Springer and his new producer, Richard Dominick, revamped the show’s format in order to garner higher ratings. The show became more and more successful as it became more and more lowbrow, with an emphasis on infidelity.
In 1998, Springer penned Ringmaster, a personal account of his experiences along with remembrances from his childhood and professional career. Also in November of that year, Springer made his first venture into feature films starring in Ringmaster, a fictionalized movie chronicling his television talk show. In 1999, Springer thoroughly enjoyed working with Mike Myers, where he portrayed himself in the hit movie Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
In 2005, a UK version was shown on ITV1 titled The Springer Show. It beat its talk-show rival Trisha Goddard five to one in the ratings, despite it being a subdued and more tongue-in-cheek version of the U.S. show.
Also in that year, Jerry became a morning radio talk show host with the debut of Springer On The Radio. Broadcast in 85 markets, including Air America, Springer ended the radio show after two years but enjoyed the opportunity to offer a progressive voice.
Jerry has also graced the cover of Rolling Stone, Esquire, New York Magazine, and Sarasota Magazine, and he was featured in Vanity Fair’s “Vanities.” Barbara Walters chose Springer as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People in her 1998 special.
Springer, born in London, England, travels back to the UK frequently, doing a variety of late night shows there. A parody of The Jerry Springer Show, “Jerry Springer The Opera,” played in London to sold-out crowds at the prestigious National Theater and garnered awards akin to the Tony Awards.