Daytime television host and former mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer, has died. He was 79 years old.
Springer made his mark in a new type of confrontational talk show, where individuals could hash out their personal issues on television. Springer was known for creating an animated crowd, which would often become unruly as the show progressed, along with the show’s subjects.
“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,” his friend, Jene Galvin, said in a statement. “He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on.”
A divisive figure in American entertainment, Springer held that his work was just that—entertainment—and rebuked criticism or outrage towards his tactics.
“Look, television does not and must not create values, it’s merely a picture of all that’s out there — the good, the bad, the ugly,” Springer said. “Believe this: The politicians and companies that seek to control what each of us may watch are a far greater danger to America and our treasured freedom than any of our guests ever were or could be.”
Spoken like a true politician, Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati from 1977 to 1978. He leaves behind a daughter, Katie Springer.