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Maury Povich Biography - Biography
Maury Povich

Maury Povich Biography

News Anchor, Television Host, Television Personality (1939–)
Maury Povich is an American media personality best known as the host of the popular and provocative daytime talk show 'Maury.'

Who Is Maury Povich?

Born in 1939 to famed sportswriter Shirley Povich, Maury Povich launched his own media career in the 1960s, becoming the host of Panorama and an anchor at news desks around the country. In 1986 he began hosting A Current Affair, a tabloid newsmagazine that proved a surprising hit. Povich moved on to the daytime talk show genre in 1991 with The Maury Show, later striking gold after the program was relaunched as Maury and began focusing on provocative content like rebellious teens and paternity tests. Povich also runs a media production company, owns a share of a restaurant and founded a Montana newspaper with wife Connie Chung.

Maury Povich Photo

Maury Povich

'Maury'

In 1991 Povich began hosting a Phil Donahue-type daytime talk show called The Maury Show, in which he interviewed guests who had overcome adversity, covered topical issues and occasionally held court with celebrities. However, its format radically changed after being relaunched in 1998 as Maury, going on to capture the top spot among syndicated talk shows with a parade of guests seeking the spotlight through their shocking comments, outfits and actions. Outlasting most of the competition from that era, like Ricki Lake and The Jenny Jones Show, Maury began its 20th season in its current format in September 2017.

Paternity and Polygraph Tests

Maury is best known for its episodes in which a woman hauls her boyfriend/lover/neighbor on air to find out if he is the father of her child. Povich discusses the matter with everyone involved, often bringing out another party to contradict someone's claims of innocence, before sending guests and the audience into a tizzy toward the end of the broadcast with an emphatic "You are the father!" or "You are not the father!"

Along those lines, other episodes focus on the administration of polygraph tests to determine if someone is cheating on his or her significant other. In 2018, the Maury team announced a twist on that angle with the introduction of The Truth Truck, scheduled to tour the country to ask couples light-hearted questions about the nature of their relationship.

'Out of Control Teens' and 'Boot Camp'

Earlier in its run, Maury made its mark by featuring teenagers who exasperated their parents by indulging in excessive drug use or promiscuous activities. Other uncooperative kids were shipped off to boot camp, where cameras showed them getting their comeuppance by enduring grueling physical work and facing a screaming instructor.

Often accused of exploiting guests for ratings, Povich says his show's "Shakespearean themes" of love, betrayal and conflict are what keeps fans coming back for more, and insists that he's helping families by offering guidance and settling issues of paternity.

Maury Memes

The outrageousness on display on Maury has spawned an array of memes, many of which have been compiled on Tumblr pages like "The Results Are In" and "Holy Maury Mother of God." Some feature the silly dances performed after a guest learns he isn't the father, while others show the host reading the result of a paternity test but delivering an unrelated comment.

'A Current Affair'

Prior to his talk show, Povich was best known as host of A Current Affair from 1986 to 1990. Initially an experiment on the part of new Fox chief Rupert Murdoch, who was looking for original programming, A Current Affair proved a hit by focusing on the tabloid-type fare that legitimate news outlets rejected. Fans were drawn to the twisted stories of the "Baby M" case and the "Preppy Murderer," the show's appeal heightened by its host's expressed incredulity over some of the segments being aired. Povich later said that he knew A Current Affair had hit the big time when the Jim Bakker-Jessica Hahn sex scandal erupted in 1987, and he found himself competing with the highbrow Nightline to land the first interview with Hahn.

Marriage to Connie Chung and Son Matthew

Povich says he has few memories of initially meeting Connie Chung, who began her journalism career as a copy girl for WTTG while he was hosting Panorama for the network. However, she was a well-known commodity in the industry by the time he joined her at the KNXT anchor desk in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, and the two began spending more time together off-screen.

Povich and Chung maintained their relationship as their professions pulled them to different cities, an arrangement that continued even after they tied the knot in 1984. They finally moved in together after Povich joined his wife in New York City to begin his stint on A Current Affair, and adopted son Matthew Jay in 1995.

Povich was previously married to his college girlfriend Phyllis Minkoff, with whom he had daughters Susan and Amy.

News Career

Publicity Writer to Reporter

Povich began his journalism career in 1962 as an assistant publicity writer for WWDC in Washington. He found himself drawn to the activity in the newsroom, and before long he was earning assignments as a street reporter. This, in turn, led to coverage of Capitol Hill and national stories, including the assignment to mark the return of Air Force One to the area after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

'Panorama'

In October 1966, Povich made his television news debut as a sportscaster for WTTG-TV, an independent station owned by Metromedia. A few months later he became co-host of Panorama, a show that covered news from an unusual mid-day time slot. With the Vietnam War in full swing, and such history-making events as the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy and Watergate soon to come, there was no shortage of headlines for Panorama to examine. Povich took over as its sole host in the early '70s, and also served as WTTG's sportscaster and weekend anchor, until leaving the network in 1977.

Bouncing Around

Following a short stint as a news anchor in Chicago, Povich headed to Los Angeles, but found himself out the door again after a few months. He landed on his feet in San Francisco, earning the chance to do double duty as an anchor and talk show host, before moving to Philadelphia for similar job roles with the NBC affiliate. 

Povich returned to WTTG-TV in 1983 to resume hosting Panorama and take over as weeknight news anchor, before the sale of Metromedia to Murdoch led to major changes in his professional career. 

What Is Maury Povich's Net Worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Povich is worth an estimated $60 million, in large part due to an annual salary of $14 million.

Early Years

Maurice Richard Povich was born on January 17, 1939, in Washington, D.C., the middle of three children of Ethyl and Shirley Povich. His dad became one of the most famous sportwriters in the country from his longtime position with The Washington Post, and Povich enjoyed the access to athletic events that many young children dream of, including becoming a bat boy for the Washington Senators baseball team.

Beginning at age 15, Povich spent his summers assisting Senators broadcaster Bob Wolff. He enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania but struggled to focus on his studies, landing on academic probation and even getting kicked out for poor grades at one point. Povich eventually graduated from the school at age 23.

'Twenty One' and 'Weekends'

In early 2000, Povich added "game show host" to his resume with the relaunch of Twenty One. The original program, which aired from 1956 to 1958, earned notoriety as a centerpiece of investigations into behind-the-scenes efforts to rig popular game shows of the era, later dramatized in Robert Redford's Quiz Show (1994). While the reboot avoided scandalous headlines, it struggled to compete against Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and was finished by the end of May.

In early 2006, Povich attempted to branch out once again, this time with Chung, for Weekends With Maury and Connie. The half-hour talk show promised to dive into an array of topics and "explore all sides of a story as only two people who have been married for 20 years can do," but the premise failed to grab audiences, leading to its cancellation in mid-June.

Production Company and Newspaper

Povich conducts much of his media business through his MoPo Entertainment production company. Along with producing promotional announcements for talk shows, MoPo was behind the Academy Award-winning short documentary Twin Towers (2003), about two brothers who died while assisting others during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Povich has also appeared on screen in popular programs like How I Met Your Mother and Black-ish and the 2011 film Madea's Big Happy Family.

In 2007, after owning a home in Montana's Flathead Valley for many years, Povich and Chung launched the Flathead Beacon. The publication claimed a slew of awards at the Montana Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in June 2018, including for general excellence, best overall website and best weekly newspaper.

Accolades and Giving Back

Povich was voted president of the New York Chapter of the National Television Academy in 2001, and went on to serve two terms. In 2006, he was honored with the chapter's Governor's Award for his distinguished service to the NTA.

That year, the TV personality established the Povich Writer-in-Residence program at UPenn, enabling his alma mater to expand its curriculum with advanced journalism classes, and he followed suit in 2011 by donating $1 million to launch the school's Povich Fund for Journalism Programs. He has also contributed to such charitable causes as the National Adoption Agency and the New York Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Other Business and Personal Interests

Marking the 100th anniversary of their dad's birthday, Povich and his siblings teamed up to see the 2005 publication of All Those Mornings ... At The Post, a collection of his best columns from his 75 years as a sportwriter.

In early 2017, Povich was part of an ownership team that purchased Chad's, a restaurant and bar in the Friendship Heights section of Washington, D.C. In April, the group announced they were changing the venue's name to Chatter.

An accomplished golfer who counts former President George W. Bush among his playing partners, Povich regularly competes in U.S. Senior amateur tournaments.

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