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The legendary talk show host Jerry Springer died on Thursday morning after a battle with cancer. He was 79 years-old.

Springer Passes Away

Springer’s family told TMZ that he died peacefully at his home in the suburbs of Chicago after being diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. His condition reportedly took a turn for the worse earlier this week.

“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,” Jene Galvin, a lifelong friend and spokesman for the family, told WLWT.

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

What You May Not Know About Springer

Some fans will be surprised to learn that before he moved to television, Springer got his start as a politician. After unsuccessfully running for Congress as a Democrat in 1970, Springer was elected to the city council in Cincinnati, Ohio the next year. He was later elected mayor of Cincinnati in 1977, serving one term in this position.

WOSU reported that Springer got his start in politics working on the 1968 Democratic presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy, which was tragically cut short when he was assassinated.

“Bobby Kennedy was in politics for all the right reasons, especially in the final years of his life,” Springer once said. “He cared about people who were struggling, who were discriminated against, who had no chance to succeed. Why else be in politics unless you want to make life better for people who have nothing?”

Related: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Judge Len Goodman Dead At 78 After Cancer Battle

Springer’s Talk Show

Springer later achieved international fame when his talk show “The Jerry Springer Show” premiered in 1991. The program initially focused on politics, but it quickly went the complete opposite direction and became known for having raucous and outlandish moments.

Check out some of those moments in the videos below.

Springer’s show became so popular in the late 1990s that it even topped Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in some U.S. cities. After it went off the air in 2018, Springer spent three seasons starring in the courtroom show “Judge Jerry.”

Springer’s final television appearance came in October of last year, when he competed on “The Masked Singer” as “The Beetle,” performing a Frank Sinatra classic for the judges. Check out his unveiling in the video below.

Prior to his death, Springer had been hosting a folk music show on a local radio station in Cincinnati. He reportedly only had to stop working about a month ago when his cancer battle began deteriorating rapidly.

Related: Bob Newhart’s Wife Of 60 Years Ginnie Newhart Passes Away At 82

Springer’s Family Honors Him

Springer is survived by a daughter and a sister.

“Jerry, born Gerald Norman Springer in London, England on February 13, 1944, immigrated to Queens, New York at the age of four along with his parents and older sister,” the family told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “He graduated from Tulane University and Northwestern University Law School, served in the United States Army Reserves and had a long career in law, politics, journalism and broadcasting.”

“He was known for the ‘Jerry Springer Show,’ the ‘Judge Jerry Show,’ the ‘Springer on the Radio Show,’ ‘Baggage,’ the ‘Jerry Springer Podcast’ and until recently even his own 60s folk music radio show in Cincinnati,” they added. “He also wrote an autobiography and once starred in a movie. But he captured the emotions of the country in 2006 with a shockingly long and humorous run on the popular ‘Dancing With the Stars’ show.”

The family added that instead of flowers, fans should honor Springer’s spirit by making a donation or committing an act of kindness to someone in need or a worthy advocacy organization.

“As he always said, ‘Take care of yourself, and each other,'” the family concluded.

Rest in peace, Jerry Springer.

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