Legendary and controversial talk show host and former mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer, has died at the age of 79, leaving several rock and metal musicians to pay tribute and mourn the loss of the popular celebrity.
As reported by NBC news, Springer died today (April 27) in Chicago, as confirmed by publicist Lina Shafran, who did not reveal a cause of death at this time. TMZ also reports that he had been dealing with a “brief illness,” per a family spokesperson, and, through their own sources, the outlet claims Springer had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer “a few months ago” and “took a turn for the worse” this week.
Born Gerald Normal Springer on Feb. 13, 1944 in a railway station in London, England, the future politician and TV host moved to Queens, New York in the U.S. in early 1949 with his parents, who were German-Jewish refugees who had escaped from an area of modern day Poland. Two of his grandparents and a great uncle, however, all died in concentration camps during World War II.
Prior to hosting 27 seasons and nearly 5,000 episodes of Jerry Springer from 1991 through 2018, Springer attended Tulane University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, having graduated in 1965. Three years later, he earned a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University.
He began practicing law and held his first political position in Cincinnati City Council following a 1971 election. He later served as Democratic mayor of the Ohio city for one year in 1977, as chosen by the City Council.
Springer’s first venture into media began at Tulane University’s radio station and his on-air commentary helped propel his name, which led to becoming a political reporter and news anchor. Politics became the foundational subject matter for Jerry Springer, the TV show that launched in 1991, but the content was overhauled in 1994, leading to the infamously unhinged program that dominated daytime TV ratings.
READ MORE: That Time Type O Negative’s Peter Steele Was on ‘Jerry Springer’
Throughout the years, Jerry Springer notably featured rock and metal musicians as guests, including Type O Negative’s Peter Steele and GWAR’s Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie), both of whom created some of the most memorable mainstream moments in metal.
A handful of rockers paid tribute to the TV legend, including Slayer/Exodus guitarist Gary Holt and Body Count frontman Ice T. Head below to see what they and others had to say.
Rockers Mourn the Death of Jerry Springer
Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer)
Ice-T (Body Count)
I Declare War
Mike Protich (The Violent, Red Sun Rising)
10 Bizarre Rock + Metal Jerry Springer Moments
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