Jerry Springer, host of “The Jerry Springer Show,” died at 79 on Thursday, according to NBC News. He died “after a bout with cancer,” his representatives told NBC News.

Publicist Linda Shafran confirmed that Springer died in Chicago, per NBC. Jean Galvin, spokesperson for the family, specified that Springer died from pancreatic cancer.

Per USA Today, Galvin said, “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.”

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

Springer was most known for his controversial daytime talk show, “The Jerry Springer Show,” which ran from 1991-2018. The tabloid show lasted for 27 seasons.

Additionally, Springer was the 56th mayor of Cincinnati in 1977 and 1978.

Jerry Springer’s political career

Despite Springer’s run as the host of perhaps the most salacious talk show to date, he had a rich political career. According to Springer, he began his career as a lawyer, working for Robert F. Kennedy’s political campaign.

“... my background is political and legal,” Springer said in the podcast “Behind the Velvet Rope,” according to NBC DFW. Springer studied political science at Tulane University and received a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, according to Britannica.

Before “The Jerry Springer” show, Springer was in politics. According to NPR, Springer resigned from the Cincinnati city council in the 1970s after “paying a prostitute with a check.” He ran again the next year, winning his seat back.

Springer served as Cincinnati mayor from 1977 to 1978 and, in 1982, had an unsuccessful run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

“The fact is, Jerry Springer is one of the most eloquent political speakers I have ever heard, at any level,” Howard Wilkinson wrote for NPR in 2018.

‘The Jerry Springer Show’

“The Jerry Springer Show” began in 1991. Previously, Springer had anchored for “the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati,” according to NBC DFW.

Per NBC DFW, “... the same company that he worked for as an anchor handled daytime TV shows and he was asked to fill the void left by Phil Donahue’s retirement.”

“The Jerry Springer Show” took off. According to NBC News, “The show’s 1990s popularity made it a ratings rival of daytime polar opposite, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.’”

The two daytime talk shows couldn’t have been more different: while Winfrey conducted thoughtful interviews, Springer was known for salacious and shocking entertainment.

Show guests shouted out profanities. Security guards kept fighting guests apart. According to NBC News, Springer conducted the show while the audience chanted, “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”

Some of his most-known episodes include “A Man Marries a Horse,” “My Girlfriend is a Man,” “The Kung Fu Hillbilly” and much, much more. As The Guardian put it, “... the ‘Jerry Springer Show’ has delivered more on-air fights, ranting white supremacists, adulterous strippers and transphobia than anything else on television.”

“The Jerry Springer” became known as “trash TV,” according to USA Today. But, as USA Today points out, “Springer often expressed empathy and compassion for the people who filled his set with the kind of drama that lead to ratings gold.”

What happened to ‘The Jerry Springer Show’?

“The Jerry Springer Show” officially ended in 2018, with Springer retiring from the entertainment business, per the New York Post. As Springer told The New York Post, “I was competing against myself.”

Springer has since apologized for the “The Jerry Springer Show” during an interview for the podcast “Behind the Velvet Rope,” per NBC DFW.

“I just apologize,” Springer said. “I’m so sorry. What have I done? I’ve ruined the culture.”

“I just hope hell isn’t that hot, because I burn real easy. I’m very light-complected,” Springer joked.

Per USA Today, Springer spoke of his career during a 2015 episode of the “The Jerry Springer Show,” saying, “Know this. There’s never been a moment in the 25 years of doing this show that I ever thought I was better than the people who appear on our stage. I’m not better. Only luckier.”