A young Jewish couple, Richard and Margot Springer, flee Germany and the persecution of the Nazis.
Margot gives birth to a son, Gerald Norman Springer, in London.
After saving their money and getting documentation, the Springers take the Queen Mary to New York. They immigrate to America under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948.
Watching the Democratic National Convention on television, Jerry is impressed with the congressman from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy.
Jerry enrolls in Tulane University. He marches with supporters of racial integration in the schools.
While working as a deejay at the campus radio station, WTUL, Jerry learns about JFK’s assassination over the teletype. He confirms that it’s true and broadcasts the news over the radio.
Jerry interns at the Cincinnati law firm Frost & Jacobs.
He works on Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign and graduates from Northwestern Law School.
Jerry, at 25, runs for Congress. His platform includes getting out of the Vietnam War and lowering the voting age to 19. He loses the election, but the Ohio Democratic Party sees him as a star on the rise.
w Jerry meets future wife Micki Velton.
Jerry wins a seat on Cincinnati’s Council-at-Large.
Micki Velton and Jerry are married.
After a vice squad raids a Kentucky massage parlor, it’s revealed that Councilman Springer was once a customer there. Jerry resigns his seat on the council.
Jerry comes clean to his constituents about his past indiscretions and wins back his seat in the next election.
Micki gives birth to Jerry’s only child, a daughter they name Katie.
Jerry is elected mayor of Cincinnati by the largest plurality in the city’s history.
Jerry runs for governor of Ohio and comes in third in a three-man race.
Jerry becomes news anchor for NBC affiliate WLTW-TV in Cincinnati. He goes on to win a handful of local Emmy Awards for his commentaries.
“The Jerry Springer Show” premieres in Cincinnati. The first show reunites Holocaust survivors with the people who hid them from the Nazis.
Hosting what is then a conventional talk show, Jerry does one-on-one interviews with guests, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Richard Simmons, Ali MacGraw and Sally Jessy Raphael. In September, the production moves from Cincinnati to Chicago, and Jerry commutes daily by air between his anchor desk in Ohio and his talk show in Illinois.
Richard Dominick takes over as executive producer of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
When low ratings threaten the future of “Springer,” it’s decided to aim the show at a younger demographic: college-age viewers. The ratings slowly begin to climb and the show is picked up for another year.
Jerry teams with Jerry Lewis to host the National Muscular Dystrophy telethon. He also releases the CD “Dr. Talk.”
When the news director at WMAQ-TV in Chicago asks Jerry to begin doing weekly commentaries on the broadcast, anchor Carol Marin resigns in protest.
Jerry is chosen Grand Marshal of the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. “New Orleans is the ‘Jerry Springer Show’ of cities,” Jerry says at the time.
Barry Diller, chairman of Studios USA, producer of the show, vows to cut out all violent and sexually explicit behavior on future shows and re-edit past shows.
The producers introduce Springer Cam to answer the question, “Where do you find these guests?” The homemade tapes from people who want to be on “The Jerry Springer Show” are as wild, raucous and depraved as anything ever broadcast from the Chicago studio. The Springer Cam is a big success.
Jerry makes his Broadway debut in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” playing the narrator.
TV Guide selects “The Jerry Springer Show” as the worst TV show ever. “Awful television shows are a storied part of our society,” said TV Guide Editor in Chief Steven Reddicliffe. “Some of them actually are very successful and are great guilty pleasures. And no one has turned guilty-pleasure TV into more of an art form than Jerry Springer.”
Jerry co-stars with Roy Scheider and Armand Assante in the film “Citizen Verdict.” Jerry’s character is Marty Rockman, a corrupt TV producer who creates a reality show on which viewers decide capital punishment cases. The movie has a limited theatrical release.
“Jerry Springer: The Opera” opens in England, with David Soul playing Jerry.
In England, department stores ban sales of the “Jerry Springer: The Opera” DVD. Also, Christian groups complain when the BBC broadcasts the opera.
launches “Springer on the Radio,” a political radio show that airs every weekday morning.
“The Jerry Springer Show” celebrates its 3,000th episode, which is scheduled to be broadcast May 12.
-Allison J. Waldman