Dr. Phil McGraw

Dr. Phil McGraw Biography

Talk Show Host(1950–)
Mental health professional and life strategist Dr. Phil McGraw was a regular on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' before launching his own successful TV series.

Synopsis

Born in 1950, Dr. Phil McGraw was a college football player who got his Ph.D. in psychology. He quit his private practice to start Pathways, a self-motivation seminar, as well as a company called Courtroom Sciences. After helping Oprah Winfrey win a lawsuit in 1998, he became a regular on her talk show, before launching his own daytime program, Dr. Phil, in 2002. McGraw has also penned several best-selling self-help books.

Early Years

Life strategist and television host Dr. Phil was born Phillip Calvin McGraw on September 1, 1950, in Vinita, Oklahoma. Dr. Phil was raised in both Oklahoma and in Texas. He grew up to become a 6'4" linebacker and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa, before finishing his undergraduate studies in 1975 at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. 

Just four years later, McGraw picked up his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of North Texas. In 1979, Dr. Phil opened a practice with his father, who had earned his psychology degree following a career as an oil rig equipment supplier.

Meeting Oprah

Realizing that one-on-one therapy wasn't for him, McGraw soon launched a popular self-motivation seminar called Pathways. In 1989, he founded a company called Courtroom Sciences. The venture helped trial lawyers build cases via mock trials, behavioral analysis, jury selection and mediation.

It was through Courtroom Sciences that Dr. Phil met Oprah Winfrey. In 1996, she was being sued by cattlemen who claimed she defamed the beef industry on one of her shows, and the talk-show queen hired Dr. Phil to assist during the trial. 

After helping her win the case in 1998, Dr. Phil became a regular expert on Oprah, dealing with life strategies and relationships. With his catchphrase, "Get real," the plain-spoken doctor served up common sense advice rather than self-help jargon, his demeanor making him someone even tough guys felt comfortable learning from.

'Dr. Phil'

In the fall of 2002, he launched his own nationally syndicated series, Dr. Phil. The one-hour talk show garnered the highest ratings of any new syndicated program since the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show 16 years prior. 

Along with conducting motivational seminars across the country, Dr. Phil is the author of several New York Times best-sellers. His most recent book, The 20/20 Diet: Turn Your Weight Loss Vision Into Reality, was released in 2014.

Personal Life

Dr. Phil has been married to his wife, Robin, since 1976. They have two sons, Jay and Jordan.

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