American talk show host and cultural icon Jerry Springer dies aged

Jerry Springer, best known for his namesake tabloid-style TV show that featured a host of dysfunctional guests, has died aged 79.

Long-time friend and spokesperson for the family Jene Galvin, said Springer died peacefully at his Chicago home after a brief illness on Thursday (local time).

“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,” he said in a statement.

“He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humour will live on.”

Springer, a one-time mayor of Cincinnati, rose to prominence as the host of The Jerry Springer Show which had a near 27-year run with over 4,000 episodes aired.

The series was known for its chair-wielding brawls and expletive-filled arguments often featuring guests accused of adultery or facing family problems.

Episodes usually covered salacious topics with their titles mimicking tabloid headlines like: I Slept with 251 Men in 10 Hours!, Stripper Sex Turned Me Straight, and Hooking Up With My Therapist.

The show faced criticism during its almost three decade-long run for its exploitative nature and eventually came to an end in 2018 due to dwindling ratings.

A string of tributes flowed for the television icon on Thursday with Springer remembered for his impact on pop culture.

Ricki Lake, Springer’s talk show contender, wrote: “Just waking to the very sad news of the passing of my long-time talk show rival and friend. May he rest in peace.”

Sky New Australia host Piers Morgan, who worked alongside Springer on America’s Got Talent, said he was gutted by the news.

 “Jeez, this sucks. RIP Jerry Springer, 79,” he tweeted.

“TV icon and  such an intelligent, warm, funny man. Loved working with him (on @AGT), loved hanging out with him (we lived in same hotel for two years), loved arguing with him (he loved his politics), loved everything about him. Gutting.”

Springer began his career as a politician and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1970 before being elected to Cincinnati’s City Council in 1971.

He later resigned from council over allegations he paid for sex at a brothel using checks, but later bounced back to serve a one-year term as mayor of Cincinnati in 1977.

Springer is survived by his 47-year-old daughter Katie and his older sister, Evelyn.

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