Jerry Springer, whose controversial decades-spanning impact on the television medium is undeniable, is dead. He was 79 years old.
Jene Galvin, a friend and spokesperson for Springer’s family, shared a statement with WLWT on Thursday confirming the news. Springer, notably, worked as an anchor and commentator for the Cincinnati-based outlet before going on to daytime talk show fame. At one point, Springer also served as mayor of Cincinnati.
“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,” Galvin said. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.”
Per a separate report from TMZ, Springer had been diagnosed with cancer in recent months. He’s said to have died at his home in Chicago this week.
Speaking on the impact of his talk show era during an interview on the Behind the Velvet Ropepodcast last November, Springer—who was then fresh off an appearance on The Masked Singer—joked that he “ruined the culture.” He also spoke about his show serving as a precursor, of sorts, for the eventual rise of social media and the attention given to matters of virality.
“It’s just the democratization of the whole culture,” he said at the time.
Though most known for his namesake talk show, Springer also hosted America’s Got Talent and Judge Jerry. The latter ran for three seasons and came to a close in 2022.