Copyright 2008 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
|The 2008 Police Gazette Lifetime
An American genius without equal, Gerald Norman "Jerry" Springer was not even originally American, having been born in London, England, during the Second World War. Jerry's Jewish parents had fled there from Nazi Germany to only relative safety–as the threat of Nazi bombing at night led to his mother give birth to him in a London Underground station. But by the late 1940s the family had made it to Queens, New York, and Jerry began his education, which lasted until he obtained his J.D. from Northwestern University in 1968. Fresh out of law school, Jerry hooked up as an aid to Senator Robert F. Kennedy. This tenure was brief, however, as later that year the senator succumbed to assassination. But Jerry soldiered on and was elected to the city council of Cincinnati, Ohio, only to resign three years later when it was revealed he'd paid a prostitute with a personal check. The redoubtable Mr. Springer sprang back once more and, through his characteristic honesty and charisma, was elected back to the city council a year later. In 1977 he was elected mayor of Cincinnati. Then a failed bid to become Ohio's governor led him in the early 1980s to try a career change and give broadcasting a shot. As subsequent events proved, Ohio's loss was our gain. Jerry honed his chops at various news departments and in September 1991 "The Jerry Springer Show" was born.
In spite of early guests such as GG Allin, the show felt constrained, as if it needed something to help it bust out to a new level of relevance. Enter Richard Dominick, a lower-level producer who had previously written for The Weekly World News. In 1993 Dominick was named senior producer and promptly took things in hand. As Orson Welles had his Gregg Toland and the Beatles had their George Martin, Jerry Springer had finally found a man who knew how to shape and mold his particular brand of genius for maximum effect. Together they took the world by storm. Seventeen seasons into the show's run, it is still as fresh and relevant as ever. The concision of its approach and the potency of its encapsulated universal human drama are only two of "The Jerry Springer Show"'s unparalleled attributes. It comprises a terse double threat of tragedy and comedy that, by comparison, reveal most other television programs for the cloying and arid artifices that they are. If the artist's chief duty is to show us truth, then Mr. Springer has been doing just that for almost two decades. Mr. William A. Mays and the National Police Gazette are pleased to present the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award to Gerald Norman "Jerry" Springer.