Listen Live

Jerry Springer, longtime talk show host and former Cincinnati Mayor, has died. He was 79.

According to a statement from his family, Springer died peacefully at his home in suburban Chicago this week after a brief illness.

“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,” Jene Galvin, a lifelong friend and spokesman for the family, said in a statement. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.”

Springer hosted his tabloid talk show, “The Jerry Springer Show”, from 1991 until 2018. The show was known for focusing on controversial or taboo topics, with discussions often ending in physical, profanity-filled fights.

Writing for Cox Media Group’s National Content Desk, Theresa Seiger says Springer later told the Bleacher Report his show was “escapist entertainment.” Over the years, some critics said it contributed to a moral decline in the U.S.

“Jerry Springer” reached millions of viewers and aired more than 4,000 episodes with titles including “Stripper Sex Turned Me Straight” and “Hooking Up With My Therapist,” The Associated Press reported.

Before becoming a talk show host, Springer served as Cincinnati’s mayor after years spent on the city council, The AP added. He sought the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor in 1982 and lost..

On Thursday, a family spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets that Springer had been diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and “this week, he took a turn for the worse.”

He is survived by his wife, Micki Velton, and daughter Katie, Variety reported.