Jerry Springer

From Academic Kids

Gerald Norman "Jerry" Springer (born February 13, 1944 in Hampstead, London) is a former Democratic mayor of Cincinnati, who now hosts a television program bearing his name, The Jerry Springer Show. He also hosts a talk radio program called Springer on the Radio on Air America Radio

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Talk show host Jerry Springer

His parents were German. In January 1949, he emigrated to the United States from England with his family on the RMS Queen Mary. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University in 1965, majoring in political science. He got a law degree from Northwestern University in 1968. He then became a campaign aide to Robert Kennedy; after Kennedy's assassination, he joined a Cincinnati law firm.

In 1970, Springer ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, but failed to unseat incumbent Republican Donald D. Clancy. Springer was elected to the Cincinnati city council in 1971, at the age of 27. He resigned in 1974 after it was discovered that he had paid a prostitute with a personal check that had been found when police raided a massage parlor. A few days later he made a public announcement about and apology for this affair; the next year he was reelected to the city council (though he had to run as an independent). A few years later, in 1977, he ran as a Democrat in a successful bid to be mayor of Cincinnati; he was 33.

In 1982, having stepped down as mayor, Springer failed in his bid to win the Democratic primary for governor of Ohio coming in third. (Dick Celeste won the primary and general elections). He was hired as a political reporter and commentator on Cincinnati's NBC affiliate, WLWT-TV, which had, at the time, the lowest-rated news program. As commentator, he ended each segment with what became his catch phrase: Take care of yourself, and each other. Within two years he was their number one news anchor, and for five years, the most popular one in the city, garnering seven local Emmy Awards in the process. It was a position he held until January 1993.

The Jerry Springer Show debuted in September 1991. It started as a politically-oriented talk show, a longer version of the commentary Springer had gained local fame for giving as reporter and anchor. Guests back then included Oliver North and Jesse Jackson, and the topics included homelessness and gun control. Low ratings led to the show being picked up by a new producer. The search for higher ratings led Springer towards tawdry and provocative topics, becoming more and more successful as the show turned more and more lowbrow. It became a freak show, where guests seek their fifteen minutes of fame through discussion and demonstrations of the worst in human behavior, while the audience reacts to the spectacle according to the rules of behavior usually associated with wrestling matches. Its extraordinary success has led it to be broadcast in dozens of countries.

Outside of his show, Springer remains politically active, particularly in Ohio. He has contributed large sums to the Ohio Democratic Party and he was a member of the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Many Ohio Democrats hoped that he would challenge George Voinovich, who ran for re-election to the United States Senate in 2004. However, Springer decided early on that his contractual obligation to his television program would prevent him from running for elective office in 2004.

Springer has expressed interest, however, in running for office in 2006. He has stated that should he decide to do so, he would resign from the television show at least 18 months prior to the election date (which would mean that he would have to announce a decision by June 2005). It is widely surmised that he is either considering a run for the United States Senate against incumbent Republican Michael DeWine, who is up for re-election in 2006 or a run for the Ohio governorship. The current governor, Robert A. Taft II, will be barred from running for a third consecutive term in 2006. U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland and Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman have announced their candidacies for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006.

In 2004, the Ohio Democratic Party named Springer Democrat of the Year for his fund-raising efforts on behalf of the party.

On January 17, 2005, Springer began hosting Springer on the Radio, a liberal talk show on Cincinnati's WCKY-AM. He does the show from the Clear Channel studios in Kenwood on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and in Chicago (where his television show tapes) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The show is also broadcast in Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, and San Antonio. On March 24, 2005, it was announced that the show will also be carried on Air America Radio beginning April 1.

See also:

Inspired by Springer

Springer portrayed himself in the 1998 movie Ringmaster, a behind-the-scenes look at would-be guests who apply to the Springer show.

A musical by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas, Jerry Springer - The Opera, is based on his show. It first became popular at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2002. It has since played at the National Theatre in London, and has moved to London's West End. It was also screened on BBC 2 Television, causing some controversy.


External links

Preceded by:
Jim Luken
Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio
Succeeded by:
Bobbie L. Sterne
de:Jerry Springer

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