Best Known For
Judith Sheindlin, or Judge Judy as she is known, is a no-nonsense courtroom presence on the TV show Judge Judy.
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Born Judith Blum in October 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, Judith Sheindlin was the only woman in a class of 126 students graduating from her law school. NYC mayor Ed Koch appointed her judge in 1982, and she was profiled for her hard-hitting courtroom tactics on 60 Minutes in 1993. Judge Judy first appeared nationally in 1996, and it is still watched by 10 million people daily.
Judge. Born Judith Blum, in October 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. She attended American University in Washington D.C., and graduated in 1963. She continued her education at American University's Washington College of Law, where she was the only woman in a class of 126 students. She finished her law degree in New York, where she moved with her first husband in 1964.
In 1965, she obtained her law degree, passed the New York bar exam, and took a job as a corporate lawyer for a cosmetics firm. Dissatisfied with the role of a corporate lawyer, she left within two years to raise two children, Jamie and Adam. In 1972, a friend from law school told her of a job opening in the New York courts. She took the job and found herself in the role of prosecutor for the family court system. She prosecuted juvenile crime, domestic violence, and child abuse cases. She was quickly recognized as a sharp, no-nonsense attorney.
Her professional success, though, was being achieved at a high private price. In 1976, she left her first husband after 12 years of marriage. She struggled to be present for her children, even while handling her heavy workload of emotionally draining cases in the family courts.
Three months after her divorce, Judy met attorney Jerry Sheindlin; within a year, they were married, in 1978. By 1982, Sheindlin's growing reputation for assertiveness in court inspired Mayor Ed Koch to appoint her to a seat as a judge in criminal court just six months later. As a judge, she continued to blend sympathy for the underdog with withering contempt for the arrogant or devious. Four years later, she was promoted to the position of supervising judge in the Manhattan division of the family court.
In 1990, Judy's father Murray Blum died, at age 70; his death took a remarkable toll on her marriage to Jerry. They divorced - with shocking suddenness. A year later, feeling the tug of family ties -- aside from her two children and his three, they now had two grandchildren -- along with the tug of terrible loneliness, Judy and Jerry got remarried. After remarrying, Judge Sheindlin settled firmly into a renewed mission to dispense justice firmly and fairly.
In February 1993, Sheindlein was profiled in the Los Angeles Times as a kind of hard-hitting legal super-heroine, determined to make the courts work for the common good. The Times piece was quickly followed by a profile on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. After her appearance on 60 Minutes, an agent for Judy approached Larry Lyttle, the president of Big Ticket Television, with the idea of doing a courtroom television program.
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