People's Court Judge Joseph Wapner Has Passed Away at 97

People's Court Judge Joseph Wapner Has Passed Away at 97

People's Court Judge Joseph Wapner Has Passed Away at 97

Wapner hosted The People's Court for 12 years, leaving the show in 1993 when it went on a four year hiatus.

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Joseph Wapner known as the judge on People's Court has sadly passed away at the age of 97 on Sunday, Feb. 26, as reported by TMZ. Wapner graduated from the University of Southern California and then served in World War II before returning home and attending USC Law School.

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Though his tenure on the bench of The People's Court is his most famous contribution to popular culture, Wapner actually served as a real judge for 20 years, spending most of that time on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The series was the first reality show of its kind, using an arbitrage-based system to settle small claims disputes. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009 and returned to "The People's Court" that year to celebrate his 90th birthday. His condition reportedly worsened and he was transferred to his home in Los Angeles on Friday, February 24, under hospice care. Former lawyer and mayor of New York, Ed Koch, replaced Wapner for two seasons and was later succeeded by Judge Jerry Sheindlin (Judge Judy Sheindlin's husband). The show\u0027s star, Judge Joseph Wapner, helped usher in a slew of imitators over the following decades, from Judge Judy \/em to Judge Joe Brown \/em .

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One of its most notable references came by way of Rain Man, the 1988 Academy Award-winning serial starring Dustin Hoffman as an autistic man who happens to be addicted to The People's Court and his idol, Judge Wapner.

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