Beloved talk show host and former Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer died Thursday at the age of 79, following a brief illness, according to TMZ.
Springer’s death was confirmed by TMZ, who reported he was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and eventually became worse toward the end of April. A spokesperson confirmed he died peacefully at his home in the Chicago area Thursday morning, according to the outlet.
Best known for “The Jerry Springer Show,” which he hosted for 27 years, Springer captivated audiences across the world with the craziest guests, stories and fights. The show was so popular that it spawned an entire generation of reality television where unhinged individuals with bizarre personal stories got their 15 minutes of fame.
The show first premiered in 1991 and originally focused on political issues, according to TMZ. But once the program’s format cemented into what we all remember, it smashed ratings and became a global staple. He even beat out Oprah Winfrey’s ratings in several cities before concluding in 2018, the outlet reported.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 27, 2023
Springer last appeared on “The Masked Singer,” where he performed a Frank Sinatra song as “The Beetle.”
Prior to his television career, Springer was mayor of Cincinnati from 1977 to 1978, as well as serving on the city council throughout the 1970s and 1980s, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. His family issued the following statement to the outlet:
“Jerry, born Gerald Norman Springer in London, England on February 13, 1944, immigrated to Queens, New York at the age of four along with his parents and older sister. He graduated from Tulane University and Northwestern University Law School, served in the United States Army Reserves and had a long career in law, politics, journalism and broadcasting. He was known for the Jerry Springer Show, the Judge Jerry Show, the Springer on the Radio Show, Baggage, the Jerry Springer Podcast and until recently even his own 60s folk music radio show in Cincinnati. He also wrote an autobiography and once starred in a movie. But he captured the emotions of the country in 2006 with a shockingly long and humorous run on the popular Dancing With the Stars Show.”
Springer will undoubtedly be missed by billions, considering his show was as popular abroad as it was domestically. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked that people consider making a donation or showing an act of kindness to someone who needs it, in Springer’s spirit. (RELATED: TheDC’s campaign videos of the week: Sarah Palin for president? And an oldie-but-goodie from Jerry Springer)
Here’s what “The Jerry Springer Show” shared years ago, claiming this was the greatest fight in the history of the series. For one last time, let’s all chant … “JERRY! JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!”