Judge Judith Sheindlin holds court as presiding judge on JUDGE JUDY, which has been the #1 show in daytime for four consecutive seasons. The New York Times wrote “The Queen of Daytime? JUDGE JUDY by a mile,” and a 2013 Reader’s Digest Survey placed Judge Sheindlin among the “100 Most Trusted Americans.”
The #1 first-run syndicated, Emmy Award-winning program, returned for its 18th season on Monday, September 9, 2013.
Having made a name for herself as a tough, but fair judge in New York’s Family Court, Judge Sheindlin retired from the bench in 1996 to bring her trademark wit and wisdom to the widely successful series that takes viewers inside a television courtroom where justice is dispensed at lightning speed. Judge Sheindlin began her career in family court in 1972, prosecuting juvenile delinquency cases for the state of New York. In 1982, then New York Mayor Edward Koch appointed Judith Sheindlin to the bench in the Family Court. In 1986, she was appointed the Supervising Judge in Manhattan. She heard more than 20,000 cases during her career. A swift decision-maker, Judge Sheindlin earned a reputation as one of New York’s most effective judges. Judge Sheindlin is credited with pioneering an “open court policy,” allowing the public and the media to view her day-to-day proceedings.
Judge Sheindlin was the subject of a Los Angeles Times article in February 1993. The story caught the attention of “60 Minutes,” which soon led to a segment on the popular newsmagazine show. After her appearance, Judge Sheindlin was approached about the possibility of presiding over real cases with real consequences in a television courtroom. Judge Sheindlin retired from the bench in February 1996. JUDGE JUDY became a reality, premiering in national syndication on September 16, 1996.
In 1996, Judge Sheindlin published her first book, “Don’t Pee On My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining” in which she offers provocative criticism of the Family Court system. “Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever,” her second book, was published in January 1999. A national best seller, the book takes an in-depth look at women’s issues.
Judge Sheindlin published her first children’s book entitled, “Win or Lose By How You Choose” in 2000, followed by “You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” the next year. Both books were designed as tools to help parents interact with their children.
Judge Sheindlin’s third book for adults, “Keep It Simple, Stupid: You’re Smarter Than You Look,” published in 2000, shares her wisdom and opinions on solving everyday family squabbles.
Over the past 17 seasons, the popularity of JUDGE JUDY has resulted in Judge Sheindlin appearing on “Saturday Night Live”; serving as a judge for the “Miss America Pageant”; and being profiled on “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Nightline,” A&E’s “Biography,” MSNBC’s “Headliners & Legends,” E! Entertainment and Lifetime Television’s “Intimate Portrait.”
She has been featured on “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “Dateline NBC,” “Larry King Live,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Tonight Show,” “The View” and “Entertainment Tonight.”
Additionally, she has been the subject of interviews in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Family Circle, People, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Parade, Good Housekeeping, TV Guide and Redbook.
In 2000, Judge Sheindlin received the Distinguished Alumni Award from New York Law School. The following year, she was honored by the Working Organization for Retarded Children and Adults for her advocacy on behalf of individuals with mental retardation.
In 2003, “60 Minutes II” interviewed Judge Sheindlin, updating the original “60 Minutes Classic” from a decade earlier. The new segment focused on the enormous popularity of JUDGE JUDY. Later that year, VH1 named Judge Sheindlin one of the “200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons.”
In 2004, Judge Sheindlin was named International Spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America to promote pet adoptions throughout the United States and the world.
In 2006, Judge Sheindlin received a prestigious Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, situated next to her good friend, the legendary actor, Sidney Poitier. She also received the Gracie Allen Tribute Award from American Women in Radio and Television for her significant contributions to the broadcasting industry. In addition, she co-founded “Her Honor Mentoring,” with her daughter Nicole Sheindlin, as an innovative way to boost self confidence in young women at the workplace and everyday life.
In 2007, Judge Sheindlin was named one of the top celebrities in entertainment in Forbes’ “Celebrity 100” List. Her first DVD, “Justice Served,” was released. Her second DVD, “Second to None,” was released in 2008.
In 2009, Judge Sheindlin was interviewed for the “Archive of American Television,” which offered an in-depth look at her career and her life as a mother, wife and grandmother.
In 2010, Judge Sheindlin was selected as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power 100,” honoring the top 100 women in the entertainment business. She was a recipient of a “Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award,” named after the broadcasting pioneer. She was the subject of a cover story in USA TODAY highlighting her career and the enormous popularity of JUDGE JUDY, which became the #1 show in daytime television. In 2011, Judge Sheindlin received an award from the “Asian American Federation” for her impact to the Asian American community.
In 2012, Judge Sheindlin was inducted into the esteemed Broadcasting & Cable “Hall of Fame” for her contributions to the television business. She delivered the commencement address at University at Albany SUNY and launched a new website, www.whatwouldjudysay.com, to create a forum to discuss issues.
In 2013, Judge Sheindlin extended her contract to continue JUDGE JUDY through 2017. That same year, she received the prestigious VP/Law Society from the University College Dublin for her contributions to family law and legal academia. She was the first family court judge to ever receive such an honor. Additionally, in 2013, she published “What Would Judy Say: A Grown-Up Guide To Living Together With Benefits,” the first in a series of books, based on her website. Also, in 2013, JUDGE JUDY received a Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Legal Courtroom Program.”
Judge Sheindlin attended college at the School of Government at American University in Washington, D.C., and after her graduation in 1963, she attended New York Law School where she received her degree. She began practicing law in Manhattan in 1965. In addition to her academic degrees, she holds honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, New York Law School and University at Albany SUNY.
Judge Sheindlin is married to Judge Jerry Sheindlin, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of New York. The second marriage for both, they have five children between them: Gregory, Jamie, Jonathan, Adam and Nicole, as well as 12 grandchildren.
Although production takes place in Los Angeles, Judge Sheindlin lives in Florida.
JUDGE JUDY is a Big Ticket Television production and is distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Big Ticket is a CBS Company. Randy Douthit is executive producer and director. Amy Freisleben is executive in charge of production. CBS Television Distribution is a unit of CBS Corp.