"He was a remarkable family man, and he was somebody who understood what it means to pay it forward," Rabbi Kopnick shared of Springer, 79, whom he visited just last week.
The family of Jerry Springer made an announcement that he died early Thursday morning after a "brief illness," PEOPLE confirmed that Springer died of cancer. Linda Shafran, his publicist, also confirmed that he died of pancreatic cancer.
Rabbi Sandford Kopnick of The Valley Temple in Cincinnati, Springer's longstanding friend and religious leader, shared that The Jerry Springer Show host's illness was sudden. "He hasn't been sick for a long time," Rabbi Kopnick mentioned. "He died of cancer, and he didn't have cancer for very long," he further stated. He also described Springer, the former mayor of Cincinnati, as a kind and generous person, the essence of whom his show failed to capture as there was much more to him that the show.
Jerry Springer, longtime talk show host, has died at 79. His show was known for scandalous moments. Here's a look at some of the most memorable ones. https://t.co/zEofBO3KQN pic.twitter.com/axyTqY3CyN— CNN (@CNN) April 28, 2023
"He was very, very smart. He was a remarkable family man, and he was somebody who understood what it means to pay it forward." Kopnick also said that Springer always knew of his good fortune and that he never once took it for granted. "When he certainly could have moved on to another congregation after I arrived in this one, not only did he stay, but he did what he could to make it thrive."
Springer was also mentioned to be someone who was always willing to assist the congregation be it to help emcee an interfaith dialogue, meet with the high school kids, or be the featured speaker at a men's club event.
"He never said no. He may have needed to figure out how to schedule it, but he never said no," he explained. "He wasn't really a resident of Cincinnati other than when he was contemplating running for office. So as a result, it always meant that he always, at his expense, would fly in for a day or two, and he was just so kind and so generous and very unassuming."
“Take care of yourself and each other” - Jerry Springer— All On The Board (@allontheboard) April 27, 2023
Rest in peace Jerry Springer.
Sending love and thoughts to your family, you friends and your fans all over the world.#JerrySpringer pic.twitter.com/M9EGL2VOrx
Kopnick also said that Springer never lost sight of his roots and was grateful for how his family escaped Germany and came to England. Springer was best known for presenting his syndicated talk show for 27 seasons, but he also hosted the reality show Judge Jerry for three seasons and briefly served as a judge on America's Got Talent. Before pursuing a career in media, he was the 56th mayor of Cincinnati.
Jene Galvin, a family friend, and spokesman, paid tribute to Springer in a statement to PEOPLE. Gavin praised ability to connect with people was at the heart of his success in everything he tried whether that was politics, broadcasting or just joking with people on the street who wanted a photo or a word. "He's irreplaceable and his loss hurts immensely, but memories of his intellect, heart and humor will live on."
“Take care of yourself and each other.” - Jerry Springer— Jerry Springer Show (@SpringerTV) April 27, 2023
In loving memory, 1944 - 2023 pic.twitter.com/drqrIaeA0z
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Ben Stansall