Jerry Springer, seen here in 2010, died aged 79


  • Jerry Springer died early Thursday following a "brief illness"
  • Springer passed away at his home in Chicago and was surrounded by his family
  • The "Jerry Springer Show" host suffered from pancreatic cancer

Jerry Springer's death was the result of cancer, according to a report.

The journalist, actor, talk show host and former Cincinnati mayor was surrounded by family when he died peacefully early Thursday at his home in suburban Chicago, Illinois, following a "brief illness," People reported. He was 79.

Springer's publicist, Linda Shafran, confirmed to People that he died specifically from pancreatic cancer.

"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 spokesperson for the family, said in a statement to People. "He's irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on."

The statement continued, "Funeral services and a memorial gathering are currently being developed. To remember Jerry, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, you consider following his spirit and make a donation or commit to an act of kindness to someone in need or a worthy advocacy organization. As he always said, 'Take care of yourself, and each other.'"

Springer's longtime friend and religious leader, Rabbi Sandford Kopnick of Cincinnati's The Valley Temple, told People that the late TV personality's "illness was sudden."

"He hasn't been sick for a long time," Kopnick said of Springer. "He died of cancer, and he didn't have cancer for very long."

Kopnick described the "Jerry Springer Show" host as a "kind and generous person who was not really best pictured on his television show."

"There was much more to him than 'The Jerry Springer Show,'" he said. "He was very, very smart. He was a remarkable family man, and he was somebody who understood what it means to pay it forward."

He added, "He always knew his good fortune. He never took it for granted. When he certainly could have moved on to another congregation after I arrived in this one, not only did he stay, but he did what he could to make it thrive."

Springer had been active in the congregation, including helping emcee an interfaith dialogue, meeting with high schoolers and being the featured speaker at a men's club event.

"He never said no. He may have needed to figure out how to schedule it, but he never said no," Kopnick continued. "He wasn't really a resident of Cincinnati other than when he was contemplating running for office. So as a result, it always meant that he always, at his expense, would fly in for a day or two, and he was just so kind and so generous and very unassuming."

The rabbi noted that Springer "never lost sight of his roots." The former politician reportedly "understood the great fortune that his family had in escaping Germany and ending up in England and then moving here."

Springer was best known for hosting his eponymous and often controversial syndicated talk show from 1991 until 2018.

He appeared in several films, including the 1998 comedy "Ringmaster," where he played a fictionalized version of himself named Jerry Farrelly, according to Entertainment Weekly. His television credits included cameos in "Roseanne," "The Simpsons" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," among others.

Springer also headlined the reality series "Judge Jerry" for three seasons and served as a judge on "America's Got Talent."

Jerry Springer
In this photo, television personality Jerry Springer on stage during BritWeek 2012's 'An Evening With Piers Morgan, In Conversation With Jackie Collins' at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, May 4, 2012. Getty Images / Frazer Harrison