Dr. Joyce Brothers, TV psychologist

by | May 17, 2013 | Obituaries

Dr. Joyce Brothers, the Jewish psychologist who achieved fame by dispensing advice on TV and radio, as well as winning the top prize on a 1950s game show, has died.

Brothers died Monday, May 13 in New York. She was 85.

The Dr. Joyce Brothers Show in the 1950s helped normalize the public discussion of psychological issues, setting the stage for future media psychologists such as Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura.

She went on to become a syndicated columnist, the author of 15 books and a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. She also made cameos in movies and on TV shows such as Happy Days, Taxi and The Simpsons.

Before earning her psychology degree at Cornell University and her master’s degree at Columbia, Brothers became well known with a 1955 appearance on The $64,000 Question game show. Brothers won the top prize after an intense course of study on the subject of boxing.

She participated on the show to earn money after leaving work following the birth of her daughter while her doctor husband, Milton Brothers, was a low-paid hospital resident.

Brothers was called to testify before a grand jury investigating game show scandals in the late 1950s, where she was quizzed about her knowledge of boxing. (JTA)