For 25 years, Judy Scheindlin has been helping get to the bottom of small-claims disputes. Don’t recognize the name? That is probably because you’d recognize her professional name, Judge Judy. Her obvious fiery spirit has led her to be one of the most well-known TV Judges. The cases are of real-life scenarios and her show won 3 Emmys during its airtime. Her high ratings have made her one of the highest-paid TV show hosts. Her show came to an end just last year when she was 79.
What The Future Holds
When questioned about her plans for the future she responded with, “I’m not tired. I don’t play golf or tennis. I have no desire to learn how to play mahjong, chess, or checkers. I know what I like to do. Give me a robe and a case, and I’ll do my job. I had wonderful people producing and directing the Judge Judy program, and a couple of them will be following me to Amazon. That will keep my life on a steady keel.” Judge Judy didn’t retire but instead is working on a new show called Judy Justice. It premiered in 2021 and its second season will premier in November on Freevee, an Amazon Sudios streaming service.
Judge Judy’s Earliest Days
Prior to getting married and becoming known as Judge Judy, she was just Judy Blum. Born on October 21st, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, she has an undeniable tough New Yorker exterior, which certainly helped her become so successful. Her family life growing up was a typical middle-class household. Her father was a dentist while her mother’s occupation is unknown.
During that time, it was uncommon for women to work at anything other than being a mom or homemaker. Regardless of her mother’s career or lack thereof, her parents supported her dreams and knew she would one day be a success.
Inspirations for Generations
Judge Judy has a remarkable background in Legal Practices that make her an inspiration to women everywhere. Her extensive education is impressive and shows little girls everywhere that with enough hard work and determination they can accomplish anything. Prior to becoming Judge Judy, she attended James Madison High School in New York before going on to get a degree in government at American University in Washington D.C. She was the only woman in a class of 126 students and soon went on to pursue a law degree at New York Law School.
Judge Judy graduated in 1965 and went on to pass the bar exam that same year. Her first legal job was a corporate lawyer for a cosmetics firm. However, she soon realized that being a corporate lawyer was not the job for her. She took some time off work to raise her 2 children, Jamie and Adam.
Continuing Her Career
It wasn’t until 1972 when a friend from law school told her about a job opening. The role was a prosecutor for the family court system. She felt compelled to make a difference and become a success, so she took the job. Judy dealt with juvenile crime, domestic violence, and child abuse cases.
In 1982 her impeccable reputation led to Mayor Ed Koch appointing her a seat as a judge in family court. Four years later, in 1986, she was then promoted to supervising judge in the Manhattan division of family court. In 1996, her reputation had grown so much that she was selected to rule over small-claims court in front of a camera and hence became the well-known Judge Judy.
Working for the legal system has opened various doors for the well-known Judge Judy allowing her to change lives for the better. She is also known to be a women’s advancement philanthropist and author. In total Judge Judy has written 7 books, including self-help books and children’s stories.
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The Love That Fell Through
Judge Judy has been married 3 times, twice to the same man. Her first marriage was to Ronald Levy, in 1964. Ronald also worked for the legal system, as a juvenile prosecutor. They had children together prior to their divorce, in 1976. The divorce came about because essentially Judy didn’t feel Levy supported her career. Despite the troubles their marriage faced, Judge Judy still speaks very highly of her first husband stating in an interview, “My first husband is a lovely, lovely man but he always viewed my job as a hobby and there came a time where I resented that.”
Judge Judy’s True Love Story
Less than 6 months after her divorce Judge Judy married Jerry Scheindlin. Jerry also worked in the legal system, as an attorney. Judy and Jerry have been married for 45 years, despite their one-year separation from 1990-91. Judy became stepmother to Jerry’s 3 children, Nicole, Gregory, and Jonathan.
The couple joined their families together, to raise 5 children. In 1990, the relationship felt a lot of strain when Judy’s father died at the age of 70. His death hit Judy hard and ultimately her marriage could not withstand the pressure and pain. However, by the end of 1991, they reconciled, remarried, and have been together since.
Generations that Follow
The proud mother and stepmother became one of the U.S.’s richest self-made women, worth an estimated $460 million. Her success, as well as her husband’s prestigious career has no doubt inspired her children to follow in their footsteps. 3 of their 5 collective children have also taken the route of working in the legal system. Adam, Judy’s firstborn, is a district attorney in Putnam County, New York. Meanwhile, Jerry’s 2 children Gregory and Nicole went on to become lawyers.
In her free time she’s with her family, which now includes 13 grandchildren. ”I spoil them. I’m trying to think of how we don’t, but the answer is we do. We don’t even think we’re doing it, but their parents are very smart. They try to put the skids on it.” She said of her large family in 2015.
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- “Judge Judy.” Biography. June 10, 2014.
- “The softer side of judge Judy: At home with her grandkids.” Entertainment Tonight. Raphael Chestang. May 29, 2015.
- “Judy Sheindlin on ending ‘judge Judy,’ her new show and the legal system’s biggest flaw. The Hollywood Reporter. Mikey O’Connell. May 13, 2021.