AKA Gerald Norman Springer
Birthplace: London, England
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Talk Show Host
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Jerry Springer Show
He is the TV talk show host who made incest, racism, phone sex, Satanism, family murders, and trailer trash a staple in American living rooms, but when the cameras go dark Jerry Springer is not as sleazy as his Jerry Springer Show.
His parents were German Jews who fled Berlin as Hitler marched on Poland, and took refuge in England. His grandparents and three other close relatives were killed in the German extermination camps, and Springer was born in the East Finchley station of the London Underground, which was used as a bomb shelter during the war. When World War II ended, his parents began saving for an exodus to America, and Springer's earliest memory is of sailing across the Atlantic in 1949, arriving with a view of the Statue of Liberty. He was five years old.
After attending public schools, he studied law, and his first job after graduating was as a campaign worker for Robert F. Kennedy. Suddenly unemployed after Kennedy was killed, Springer worked as a lawyer, and was at the forefront of a successful movement to lower Ohio's voting age to 19. He ran for Congress in 1970 and lost, but a year later he ran for the City Council in Cincinnati and won. In 1974 he was caught patronizing a "health club" that was actually a whorehouse, and resigned his Council seat with a point-blank public apology that was carried live on local TV, a performance that won grudging respect even from his opponents. At the next election he ran for the City Council again, and won his seat back.
In 1977, at 33 years of age, Springer was elected Mayor of Cincinnati. A liberal leader in a conservative city, he established rec centers for poor youth and health clinics in low-income neighborhoods. After a losing run for Governor in 1982, Springer worked as a reporter for a local TV station, and proved so telegenic that two years later he was promoted to anchorman on the nightly newscast. For almost a decade he won top ratings (and seven local Emmys), even after starting his own Jerry Springer Show in 1991. It was a quiet, serious chat show at first, but when it became clear that outrageous subjects drew bigger audiences, the Springer Show became the definition of trash TV. It has made Springer wildly wealthy, but the host openly admits he rarely watches the show himself. "It wouldn't interest me", he explains.
In assorted publicity stunts Springer has played goalie for the Milwaukee Admirals minor-league hockey team, performed as a lounge singer in Johnny Depp's Viper Room, impersonated Elvis Presley, played the President in Dolph Lundgren's action movie The Defender, sang as the opening act at Billy Ray Cyrus concerts, and competed clumsily on Dancing With the Stars. He has frequently volunteered as fund-raiser for charities concerned with birth defects, disabled access, AIDS, and liberal causes. His only child, Katie Springer, was born blind, deaf in one ear, and with no nasal passages.
In 1995 he recorded Mr Talk, an album of country music. In 1997 he was hired as a commentator on a Chicago TV station, but with his reputation sullied by his lowbrow talk show, the station's anchors protested his presence and Springer resigned after just four days. In 1998 he starred as a thinly-fictionalized version of himself in Ringmaster, an unfunny big-screen comedy co-starring Jaime Pressly. In 2000 he emceed the Miss World pageant. In 2001 he made his Broadway debut narrating The Rocky Horror Show. In 2003 Jerry Springer The Opera was first staged in London (winning a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical) and in 2006 the opera premiered on Broadway.
Father: Richard Springer (toymaker)
Mother: Margot Kallmann (bank clerk)
Wife: Micki Velton (worked for Proctor & Gamble, m. 1973, div., one child)
Daughter: Katie (b. 1976, born legally blind)
Girlfriend: Kendra Jade (ex)
High School: Forest Hills High School, Forest Hills, NY (1961)
University: BA Political Science, Tulane University (1965)
Law School: JD, Northwestern University (1968)
Mayor of Cincinnati (1977-78)
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Friends of Hillary
Hillary Clinton for President
Kucinich for President
Tau Epsilon Phi Fraternity
Emmy (seven times)
Air America 2005-06
Sex Tape Scandal 1998 (with Kendra Jade)
The Jerry Springer Show Host (1991-)
America's Got Talent Host (2006-08)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Domino (25-Sep-2005) · Himself
The Defender (20-Dec-2004)
Citizen Verdict (20-May-2003)
Pauly Shore Is Dead (2003) · Himself
Undertaking Betty (4-Oct-2002) · Himself
Sugar & Spice (24-Jan-2001) · Himself
Sex: The Annabel Chong Story (31-Aug-1999) · Himself
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (8-Jun-1999) · Himself
The 24 Hour Woman (1999) · Himself
Since You've Been Gone (18-Apr-1998) · Photographer
Kissing a Fool (27-Feb-1998) · Himself
Meet Wally Sparks (16-Jan-1997) · Himself
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