Laura Schlessinger

Radio Personality
Date Of Birth:
16 January 1947
Place Of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
Best Known As:
The radio advice-giver known as "Dr. Laura"

Laura Schlessinger's radio advice show has been syndicated throughout America since 1994. Known as Dr. Laura, she dispenses sharp-tongued "tough love" to her callers, emphasizing personal responsibility and traditional religious morality. Schlessinger came to talk radio in 1975 when, after a dozen years as a family therapist, she called into a Los Angeles radio program and hit it off so well with host Bill Ballance that she was soon a regular guest. Eventually she landed her own show, and by 1994 had launched her syndicated advice show as "Dr. Laura." (She is not a medical doctor or psychologist, but earned a Ph.D. in physiology from Columbia University in 1974.) Schlessinger joined the wave of successful conservative radio hosts of the 1990s, but while Rush Limbaugh and others focused on politics, Schlessinger focused on personal morality. Her blunt talk about right and wrong soon made her one of the top radio personalities in the United States. Often controversial, Schlessinger called homosexuality a "biological error" in 1998, setting off a long-running feud with gay activists. She also raised hackles in 2010 when she got into an argument with an African-American caller about the word "nigger" and then told her, "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race." (She apologized on her show the next day.) Dr. Laura Schlessinger's books include Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives (1994), How Could You Do That?! The Abdication of Character, Courage and Conscience (1996), and The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands (2004).

Extra Credit

Laura Schlessinger married Lew Bishop, a professor she met at the University of Southern California, in 1985; their son, Deryk, was born the same year. Schlessinger was married once before, to dentist Michael Rudolph, from 1972-76… Laura Schlessinger had a short-lived television show, Dr. Laura, from 2000-01… Dr. Laura’s website says she has a black belt in martial arts… She was the subject of controversy in 1998 after nude photos of her, taken 20 years earlier by talk radio personality Bill Ballance, were published on the Internet. Ballance said their romantic relationship began while Laura Schlessinger was still married to her first husband.

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