Joseph Wapner, Judge Of “The People’s Court,” Dies

By on February 28, 2017
vector illustration of family watching retro tv set

February 28, 2017

Judge Joseph A. Wapner, the retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who presided over “The People’s Court” for 12 years in the 80s and 90s, has died at age 97. The white-haired judge became an unlikely television icon while appearing on the show, and was referred to as the “Solomon of Small Claims.” Launched in 1981, “The People’s Court” featured actual cases from small claims courts in the L.A. area. By 1989, the show was airing on more than 175 stations and drawing a daily audience of 20 million. A Washington Post poll at the time showed Wapner was the best-known judge in America. “I still can’t believe it,” Wapner said in a 1989 interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I’m just an ordinary judge from California.” In 2009, Wapner was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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The Los Angeles Times

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