Steve Wilkos Opens Up About the Last Time He Saw His Longtime Friend, Jerry Springer

In an interview with TMZ, a longtime friend of Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos opened up about the last conversation he and Springer had.

New reports have revealed that Springer made the decision to keep his cancer battle a secret, only telling his closest family members. And Wilkos admits he was also left in the dark about his friend’s cancer battle.

While talking with TMZ, Wilkos revealed that they last saw each other about a month ago and had a cigar together. Now, in hindsight, Wilkos believes Springer was saying “goodbye to me and I didn’t realize it.”

Wilkos admitted that Springer hugged him “like he never hugged me before” and that last night together was more emotional than normal. The pair also “reminisced about the good old days,” which is something he and Springer rarely did while together.

Wilkos worked on The Jerry Springer Show for 13 years, from 1994 to 2007. And Springer was a big part of Steve eventually getting his own show. Wilkos admits that “no one had a bigger impact on his life than Jerry.”

“I just lost an incredible friend. I lost…Other than my father, this man had more impact on my life than anybody has. If it wasn’t for Jerry, I wouldn’t have the career I have. I met my wife on his show. Through the ups and downs, he was always in my corner, always very supportive.”

Wilkos continued, saying, “He always knew how I felt about him and I knew how he felt about me. So, I don’t have any regrets.”

In another statement made by Rabbi Sandford Kopnick of The Valley Temple, the religious leader announced that Springer’s battle with pancreatic cancer was short and his death was “sudden.”

“He hasn’t been sick for a long time,” Rabbi Kopnick told People. “He died of cancer, and he didn’t have cancer for very long.”

Jerry Springer led quite the life. From starting his career as a journalist, an American broadcaster, and a politician, before becoming one of the most recognizable talk show hosts in recent times, one could say he has done it all.

Now, new reports are revealing the lively talk show host has passed away. At the age of 79, Springer’s longtime friend and spokesperson, Jene Galvin, shared the news on Thursday morning, April 27, WLWT reported.

“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,” Galvin continued.

“He’s irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart, and humor will live on.” Springer was at his home in Chicago when he peacefully passed away.

According to TMZ, Springer was battling an illness at the time of his passing, reports suggest it was cancer. However, his cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Springer’s family has asked those looking to memorialize Jerry in their own way to refrain from sending flowers and rather “make a donation or commit to an act of kindness to someone in need or a worthy advocacy organization.” The family then left his fans with a beloved phrase Jerry often spoke to people, “Take care of yourself, and each other.”

Before becoming the host of his ever-popular talk show The Jerry Springer Show, Springer once ran for U.S. Congress in 1970 before becoming Mayor of Cincinnati in 1977. Fourteen years later, his show debuted in 1991.

The show first focused on political issues before it transition to a public forum where people could air their dirty laundry out for all to see. The show eventually ended in 2018. 

He was last seen on television last year when he competed on the singing show The Masked Singer.

Springer leaves behind his only child, a daughter, Katie.