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US TV Personality Jerry Springer Dies

FILE - Talk show host Jerry Springer speaks in New York City, April 15, 2010. Springer's namesake TV show unleashed strippers, homewreckers and skinheads to brawl and spew obscenities on weekday afternoons.

NEW YORK - Longtime US talk show host Jerry Springer, whose program became a symbol of low brow television with its on-air fights, swearing and infidelity revelations, has died at the age of 79, US media reported Thursday.

Springer, whose show became an international hit that ran for 27 years, died peacefully at his home in Chicago after "a brief illness," TMZ cited a family spokesperson as saying.

The spokesman did not give further details. TMZ reported that Springer had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months ago, citing anonymous sources.

Launched in 1991, "The Jerry Springer Show" began life as an ordinary talk show focusing on social issues and US politics, led by the-then mild mannered lawyer and former politician Springer, who briefly served as the mayor of Cincinnati in 1977.

But in an effort to boost ratings, the son of Jewish German immigrants switched things up dramatically after a few years, focusing on salacious and outrageous content.

In most episodes, guests came to talk about family problems and expose adultery and other transgressions.

Springer would supposedly try to mediate but the encounters often ended up in fisticuffs, with guests being held back by security guards.

In the late 1990s the show topped the daytime television ratings in the US, beating out even Oprah.

It ended its run in 2018.