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People Who Kick BuTs: Dr Joyce Brothers

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In each of us are places we have never gone; only by pressing the limits do you ever find them.

  • Born on October 20, 1927.
  • Brothers was born Joyce Diane Bauer in New York City, New York, the daughter of Estelle (née Rapaport) and Morris K. Bauer, both of whom were attorneys and had a law practice together.
  • Her family is Jewish. She graduated from Far Rockaway High School in Far Rockaway, Queens in 1943 and was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority.
  • She earned her Ph.D. degree in psychology from Columbia University after completing her undergraduate work at Cornell University.
  • She married Milton Brothers, an internist, in 1949, and they had a daughter, Lisa.
  • Milton Brothers died in 1989 from cancer. Joyce Brothers resides in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
  • Brothers gained fame in late 1955 by winning The $64,000 Question game show, 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.

    In 1959, allegations that the 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 that she had never cheated, nor had she ever been given any answers to questions in advance. Subsequent investigations verified that she had won honestly. 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 be the first woman ever to be a boxing commentator.

  • By August 1958, she was given her own TV 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 later claimed to have been the first television psychologist, explaining to The Washington Post, “I invented media psychology. I was the first. The founding mother.”

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