Dr. Phil McGraw biography
Born in 1950, Dr. Phil McGraw was a college football player who got his Ph.D. in psychology. He quit private practice to start Pathways, a self-motivation seminar, as well as a company called Courtroom Sciences. He met Oprah Winfrey while helping her win a lawsuit in 1998. McGraw became a regular on her show, then launched his own in 2002. He also penned several bestselling self-help books.
Psychologist, 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. He finished his degree at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Just four years later, he picked up his master's and Ph.D. in psychology at the University of North Texas. In 1979, Dr. Phil opened a practice with his father, who earned his psychology degree at the age of 40.
After going into private practice, Dr. Phil soon realized one-on-one therapy wasn't for him. He then launched a popular self-motivation seminar called Pathways. In 1989, he built a company called Courtroom Sciences. The venture helped trial lawyers build cases using psychology by conducting 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 Oprah 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 Texan served up common sense advice rather than self-help jargon. His tough demeanor made him a psychologist that even men felt comfortable listening to.
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, he is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. His most recent book, Family First, was released in September 2004.
Dr. Phil has been married to his wife, Robin, since 1976. They have two sons, Jay and Jordan.