Happy Birthday, Judge Judy!

  • Powerhouse TV judge Judith Sheindlin turns 69 today. Judge Judy, as she’s better known, is in the 16th season of her courtroom reality show and is one of the highest paid women on daytime TV, earning $45 million a year. Here are some things you might not know about her:

    She Was Born To Argue

    According to her website bio, “Never without an opinion or point of view, everything was a debate to young Judy.” “My father thought I would be a Senator,” she said, “because I was always arguing with him.” Too bad she wasn’t – she’d have undoubtedly solved all the country’s problems by now.
  • She's Written Children's Books As you might expect, the books Judge Judy has written for kids aren’t exactly fairytales. In 2000, she wrote “Win Or Lose By How You Choose.” Her second effort was “Judge Judy Sheindlin’s You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover.” Her books for adults have somewhat grittier titles: “Keep It Simple, Stupid: You’re Smarter Than You Look,” plus the memorable “Don’t Pee On My Leg And Tell Me That It’s Raining.”
  • She's A Facebook Powerhouse Judge Judy has more than 282,000 “likes” on Facebook, and her fans aren’t hesitant about sharing their opinions. “She is a no-nonsense judge especially for all those idiots and stupids,” says one. And here’s an honest admirer: “I think I’d cry if I was stood in front of her.”
  • Her Show Is Dominated By Brooklynites Bailiff Petri Hawkins Byrd, better known as Bailiff Byrd, is as familiar a fixture on the show as the judge herself. Both Byrd and Judge Judy were born in Brooklyn and worked together in Manhattan Family Court before appearing together on the show. “I was never bored in her courtroom,” Byrd has said. Hopefully, that’s still true.
  • Dentistry Is A Family Tradition Judge Judy’s father, Murray, was a dentist, as is her brother, David. We wonder if they’ve been able to keep her quiet long enough to fill a cavity or two.
  • One School, Two Judges Judge Judy attended James Madison High School in Brooklyn. Another graduate is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • She's Been Married Three Times But Has Had Only Two Husbands Judge Judy’s first marriage lasted from 1963-1976. The next year, she married Jerry Sheindlin, also a New York City judge.That marriage lasted until 1990, when the couple broke up – only to marry again a year later. They’re still together.
  • She's Learned From Her Recent Health Scare Earlier this year, Judge Judy was rushed to the hospital after she started “speaking in slow motion” – as she told TV interviewer Robin Roberts. The judge said she might have suffered a mini-stroke but that she was fine now. But she urged all women to pay attention to their symptoms; she said she had had an episode of double vision a few weeks before the attack.
  • Women Love Her Seventy-five percent of Judge Judy’s audience is women, and the largest group within that is women aged 25 to 54, according to aoltv.com.
  • She's Slipped A Little In The Ratings According to tvbythenumbers.com., In the most recent rankings of syndicated TV shows, Judge Judy (who had actually beaten Oprah while Winfrey was still on the air) is down to No. 4, behind ESPN NFL Regular Season, Wheel Of Fortune, and Two and A Half Men. Still, the judge had the No. 1 spot in the rankings just the week before, and knowing her, she'll rise again.