Joyce Diane Brothers (née Bauer; October 20, 1927 – May 13, 2013) was an American psychologist, television personality and columnist, who wrote a daily newspaper advice column from 1960 to 2013. In 1955, she became the only woman to win the top prize on the American game show The $64,000 Question, answering questions on the topic of boxing, which was suggested as a stunt by the show's producers. In 1958, she presented a television show on which she dispensed psychological advice, pioneering the field. She wrote a column for Good Housekeeping for almost 40 years and became, according to The Washington Post, the "face of American psychology". Brothers appeared in dozens of television roles, usually as herself, but from the 1970s onward she accepted roles portraying fictional characters, often self-parodies.
Joyce Brothers in 1957
Joyce Diane Bauer
October 20, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||May 13, 2013 85) (aged|
Fort Lee, New Jersey, U.S.
|Resting place||Beth David Cemetery, Elmont, New York|
|Alma mater||Cornell University (BA)|
Columbia University (Ph.D)
|Spouse(s)||Milton Brothers (1949–89; his death; 1 child)|
Radio therapist Dr. Laura credited Brothers with making psychology "accessible".
Joyce Diane Bauer was born in 1927[A] in Brooklyn, New York to Morris K. Bauer and Estelle (née Rapaport), attorneys who shared a law practice. Her family was Jewish. She graduated from Far Rockaway High School in January 1944. She entered Cornell University, double-majoring in home economics and psychology and was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority. She earned her Ph.D degree in psychology from Columbia University. The American Association of University Women AAUW awarded Brothers the American Fellowship in 1952, which enabled her to complete the doctoral degree.
She married Milton Brothers, an internist, in 1949. The couple had a daughter, Lisa. Milton Brothers died in 1989 from cancer. Brothers resided in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Brothers gained fame in late 1955 by winning The $64,000 Question, on which she appeared as an expert in the subject area of boxing. Originally, she had not planned to have boxing as her topic, but the sponsors suggested it, and she agreed. A voracious reader, she studied every reference book about boxing that she could find; she would later tell reporters that it was thanks to her good memory that she assimilated so much material and answered even the most difficult questions. After seven weeks on the show she became the second person, and only woman, to win the $64,000 top prize. Two years later, Brothers appeared on a successor program, The $64,000 Challenge, which matched the contestant against experts in the field. Again, Brothers walked off with the maximum prize.
In 1959, allegations that quiz shows were rigged, due to the Charles Van Doren controversy on the quiz show Twenty-One, began to surface and stirred controversy. Despite these claims, Brothers insisted she had not cheated nor been given any answers to questions in advance. During a 1959 hearing in the quiz show scandal, a producer exonerated her of involvement. Her success on The $64,000 Question earned Brothers a chance to be the color commentator for CBS during the boxing match between Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson. She was said to have been the first woman boxing commentator.
By August 1958, Brothers was given her own television show on a New York station, but her topic was not sports; she began doing an advice show about relationships, during which she answered questions from the audience. She claimed to have been the first television psychologist, explaining to The Washington Post: "I invented media psychology. I was the first. The founding mother." Sponsors were nervous about whether a television psychologist could succeed, she recalled, but viewers expressed their gratitude for her show, telling her she was giving them information they could not get elsewhere.
Brothers presented syndicated advice shows on both television and radio, during a broadcasting career that lasted more than four decades. Her shows changed names numerous times, from The Dr. Joyce Brothers Show to Consult Dr. Brothers to Tell Me, Dr. Brothers to Ask Dr. Brothers to Living Easy with Dr. Joyce Brothers. In 1964, she interviewed and posed for publicity photographs with the Beatles on their first visit to the United States.
Brothers also had a monthly column in Good Housekeeping for almost four decades and a syndicated newspaper column that she began writing in the 1970s, which at its height was printed in more than 300 newspapers. She also published several books including the 1981 book, What Every Woman Should Know About Men, and the 1991 book, Widowed, inspired by the loss of her husband. Her advice was also used as a source for some questions on the 1998–2004 incarnation of Hollywood Squares.
Death and legacy
Brothers died, aged 85, at her home in Fort Lee on May 13, 2013, due to respiratory failure. The Washington Times called her "the mother of television psychology". She is credited with inspiring Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Dr. Phil McGraw. who called himself "a very big fan of hers" after her death.
- Stand Up and Be Counted (1972) – Herself
- The War Between Men and Women (1972) – Herself
- Embryo (1976) – Herself
- More Wild Wild West (1980) – Casio Guest
- Hero at Large (1980) – Herself
- Oh, God! Book II (1980) – Herself on NBC
- Charlie's Angels (Episode: Attack Angels) (1981) Herself
- The King of Comedy (1982) – Herself
- The Lonely Guy (1984) – Herself
- Saturday Night Live (1984) - Herself
- Mama's Family (1986) – Herself
- Love at Stake (1987) – Herself
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) – The Baseball Announcer #7
- Troop Beverly Hills (1989) – Herself
- Animal Behavior (1989) – Visiting Psychologist
- Age Isn't Everything (1991) – Herself
- Married With Children (1992) – Judge
- Loaded Weapon 1 (1993) – Coroner
- Frasier (Episode: Selling Out) (1993) – Herself
- The Simpsons (Episode: Last Exit to Springfield) (1993) – Herself
- Exit to Eden (1994) – Herself
- Lover's Knot (1995) – Herself
- The Misery Brothers (1995) – Herself
- Spy Hard (1996) – Steele's Tag Team Member
- Dear God (1996) – Herself
- The Nanny (1996–1997) – Herself
- Elvis Is Alive! I Swear I Saw Him Eating Ding Dongs Outside the Piggly Wiggly's (1998)
- Diagnosis: Murder (1998) – Herself
- Kenan and Kel (1999) – Herself
- Van Wilder (2002) – Herself
- Analyze That (2002) – Herself
- ^A Some sources indicate 1928 as her year of birth. An official document (though not a birth certificate) in her personal papers held at Cornell University indicates that her birth date was October 20, 1927.
- Weil, Martin (May 13, 2013). "Obituary: "Dr. Joyce Brothers, 85; TV psychologist and columnist"". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- Lois M. Collins (May 14, 2013). "Joyce Brothers, psychologist and TV advice show pioneer, dies at 85". Deseret News.
- Weinberg, Sydney Stahl. Joyce Brothers profile at the Jewish Virtual Library. Accessed August 20, 2007.
- Nelson, Valerie J. (May 13, 2013). "Dr. Joyce Brothers, famed TV psychologist, dies at 85". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- "Joyce Brothers profile". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Otani, Akane (May 14, 2013). "Television Personality, Psychologist Joyce Brothers '47 Dies at Age of 85". Cornell Daily Sun. Archived from the original on July 19, 2013.
- Fox, Margalit (May 13, 2013). "Dr. Joyce Brothers, Psychologist Who Dispensed Advice to Millions, Dies at 85 (page 1 of 2)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- AAUW. "Idealism At Work: Eighty Years of AAUW Fellowships, 1967, p. 331.
- Fox, Margalit (May 13, 2013). "Dr. Joyce Brothers, On-Air Psychologist Who Made TV House Calls, Dies at 85 (page 2 of 2)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- News Times
- American Psychologist
- "Quiz Winner Credits Memory for Success", Christian Science Monitor, October 14, 1959, pg. 6
- "The Quiz Show Scandal" website
- "CBS Radio to Give Male Fan Assist in Airing Basilio, Robinson Fight", Hartford Courant, March 25, 1958, pg. 18A
- Wilensky, Joe (14 May 2013). "Dr. Joyce Brothers '47 dies at age 85". The Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
Brothers was the convocation speaker for Cornell in 1988
- John Crosby. "'Sis' Series Looks Good.", Hartford Courant, August 3, 1958, pg. 6.
- Henry Allen. "The Mother of Media Psychology.", The Washington Post, December 14, 1989, pg. B1
- Paley Center for Media website Archived 2015-11-26 at the Wayback Machine
- Getty Images
- "Joyce Brothers' Column to Be Daily", Chicago Tribune, September 7, 1974, pg. 7
- Brothers, Joyce (1981). What Every Woman Should Know About Men. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0671250201.
- "New York License verification record". New York State Education Department. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- Mattson, Jennifer (May 13, 2013). "Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers dies at 85". Global Post. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "Joyce Brothers: Mother of media psychology dies at 85" by Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times, Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
- USA Today
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