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Sally Jesse Raphael is an American talk show host best known for TV’s Sally Jesse Raphael and her trademark red glasses.
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She also began broadcasting her weekly three-hour radio show from the New York studio of ABC Talkradio in 1988. On both programs Raphael delved more deeply into the subjects that concerned her personally: domestic violence, childcare, and problems confronting working mothers. She continued to take an open and liberal approach to abortion, premarital sex,
and homosexuality and showcased opinions that made it into the darkest corners of the Bible Belt. When approached on the topic of her determination to expose America’s most controversial issues, Raphael responds, “I hate that Hallmark greeting-card vision of America…If people can accept me, I’ll sure accept them.”
Raphael has received some major criticisms for her morally marginal work on Sally Jessy Raphael, and although she has no illusions about the show being, first and foremost, “popular entertainment,” she believes she has also helped people. If nothing else, the show exposes problems and social taboos that were never before discussed. Raphael once called her show, “a modern-day morality play which often serves as a wake-up call for guests who are on the wrong track.” After 19 years on the air, Sally Jessy Raphael ended its run in 2002. She went on to host an Internet radio show, which she broadcast from upstate New York. The program was a family affair—her second husband Karl Soderlund and her daughter Andrea worked on the show.
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Taking on topics of politics, entertainment, women's issues and more, female talk show hosts have proven to be every bit as engaging, intelligent, and funny as their male counterparts. Oprah Winfrey's 25-year-reign as the queen of talk is unparalleled, but many other female talk show hosts have come into their own as well, including Tyra Banks, Ellen DeGeneres, Sally Jessy Raphael and Kelly Ripa.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women.
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Since the early days of television, talk show hosts have been among the most popular personalities in the medium. From TV pioneers like Jack Paar and Johnny Carson to daytime legends like Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey to late night talkers like Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel, here is a look at the famous hosts who have talked the talk on TV.
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