'People's Court' Judge Joseph Wapner Dead at 97

Feb 27, 2017, 00:30
'People's Court' Judge Joseph Wapner Dead at 97

Wapner died at home in his sleep Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, according to his son, David Wapner. Wapner leaves behind two other children and a wife, Mickey, whom he married in 1946 at the age of 27. The show's star, Judge Joseph Wapner, helped usher in a slew of imitators over the following decades, from Judge Judy to Judge Joe Brown.

Wapner first went to the hospital last week after complaints of breathing problems. He was recommended for The People's Court by another superior court judge, Christian Markey, who had been approached by producer Ralph Edwards. He retired as judge in November 1979, the day after his 60th birthday.

TV's first famous judge has left the bench for good. He also made his mark on pop culture, being lampooned in sketch shows including "Saturday Night Live". "[For example], when a litigant [once] told him, 'I'm not through, your honor, ' Judge Wapner replied, 'Well, now you are'".

Wapner is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the USC Law School. After a period in private practice, he was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1959 and the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1961.

"Listen to both sides with an open mind". She picketed the bakery for six hours, then filed the claim.

"I'd like to be remembered as a judge who acted as a judge should", he said.

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