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Bookstore1Sarasota

12 South Palm Avenue

Sarasota, FL 34236

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Talk & Discussion: America Under Attack. Bookstore1Sarasota 12 South Palm Avenue. Before Jerry Springer became the person we think we know from TV, he was a highly-regarded political figure and, later, political commentator. His insights into politics are astute and well worth hearing. This is your opportunity to meet Mr. Springer, hear what he has to say about the current political scene, and engage in meaningful discussion.

MORE ABOUT JERRY SPRINGER

Throughout an illustrious career, Jerry Springer has become a cultural and civic icon. Springer’s notoriety is due in large part to hosting his eponymous show for over 25 seasons. In addition, to Springer’s work in entertainment, throughout his life he has also been lawyer, the mayor of Cincinnati, award-winning newscaster, author, Broadway actor, executive producer, ballroom dancer, and much more.

Gerald (Jerry) Springer was born on February 13, 1944 in London’s Highgate Tube station (a subway station) due to the bombs of World War II. His family had recently and successfully fled Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. At 5 years old, Springer and his family immigrated to New York City from London on the Queen Mary. For the Springer family, America represented a place where people could live without persecution as his parents knew all too well what happens when liberty is denied.

His college years took him south to Louisiana where he earned a degree in political science at Tulane University. He then went on to receive his law degree from Northwestern University in Illinois. In 1968 his life changed during a dinner meeting with then New York Senator, Robert Kennedy, who was running for president behind the push for social change. Springer signed on with the Kennedy campaign, but shortly thereafter felt the horror of Kennedy's assassination along with the rest of the world. This moment in history served as a catalyst for Springer, compelling him into political action.

After joining a law firm in Cincinnati, Springer spearheaded the movement in Ohio to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. It all culminated with his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The result was the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution that lowered the voting age for all Americans. He ran for Congress in Ohio in 1970, nearly beating the entrenched Republican incumbent. In 1971, he turned to local government and won a seat on the Cincinnati City Council, serving five terms before becoming Mayor of Cincinnati at the age of 33.

After an unsuccessful bid for Ohio governor in 1982, Springer was courted by the big three networks. He made the choice to leave political office and ultimately signed with the Cincinnati NBC affiliate, WLWT. As their anchor and managing editor, Springer took WLWT, which before struggled with ratings, from worst to first. It was his nightly commentaries, the precursor to his now legendary "Final Thought," and news coverage that landed him eight regional Emmys® for The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Columbus/Dayton/Cincinnati Chapter (what is now the Ohio Valley Chapter).

Springer’s work ethic and success at the NBC affiliate caught the eyes of several executives. In 1991, he was offered his own talk show in Cincinnati. The show gained in popularity rather quickly and production for the show moved to Chicago. At this time, Springer would commute from Chicago to Cincinnati every day to fulfill both his talk show and anchoring responsibilities. After 2 years, Springer would say farewell to news reporting and commit to hosting full-time as The Jerry Springer Show was sold into national syndication.

In 1998, Jerry Springer and his show reached a level of success that was remarkable; Springer went from being a household name in Cincinnati to being a household name in every home in America. His talk show surpassed The Oprah Winfrey Show as it obtained the highest household rating for 65 consecutive weeks (2/16/98 - 5/17/99). It became the number 1 talk show as “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry” became a chant permanently embedded in pop culture. This was further proven by several accolades that Jerry received that year. Springer wrote his autobiography Ringmaster that chronicled his childhood and professional career. The autobiography was adapted into a feature film that hit the big screens in November of that year (some elements of his talk show were fictionalized for artistic purposes). By the end of the year, Springer was featured in the Halloween episode of The Simpsons; Madame Tussauds created a wax statue of Springer; Barbara Walters selected him as one of the year’s 10 Most Fascinating People; he filmed an appearance in Mike Myers’ film Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me; and Springer was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, Esquire and New York Magazine.

Springer showed no signs of slowing down and continued to stay relevant in the new decade. First and foremost, The Jerry Springer Show continued to be a ratings success. Springer was asked to speak at renowned academic institutions including Oxford Union at Oxford University as well as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Clinton School of Public Service and even the commencement speech for his alma mater, Northwestern Law School. He joined the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars to learn how to dance for his daughter’s upcoming wedding. Despite his questionable dancing skills, he ended up making it to the quarter finals as he won over America and earned their votes. Springer’s work behind-the-scenes would grow as well as he took on the role of talent development and executive producing and pitched “The Jerry Springer Show’s” security guard, Steve Wilkos, to host his own show. In the fall of 2016, “Yhe Steve Wilkos Show” will be entering its 10th season. NBC came calling next and asked Springer to host the inaugural season of America’s Got Talent. Springer would go on to host one more season of the show.

Diversifying his abilities, Springer’s career took an unexpected turn as he became a theater actor. He took on the role of Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago, first in London’s West End and then New York’s Broadway. The talk show influence would also expand to the unexpected as it reached the most cultured forms of entertainment. Jerry Springer: The Opera premiered in London and won the Laurence Olivier Award (the English equivalent to the American Tony) for Best New Musical. The opera would tour and make its way to America for a limited engagement to sell out audiences.

In recent years, Springer is as busy as ever. In addition to hosting his talk show, he has hosted the Game Show Network’s Baggage as well as a show for Discovery Investigation and WWE. He also makes appearances on other daytime and late night talk shows regularly.

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