The self-dubbed King of All Media earned millions of fans---not to mention dollars---channeling his id across the airwaves. Born in Long Island, this gawky nerd didn't look like a star, which made radio a perfect career move. After trying to conform to the medium's conventions---and failing---Stern took a shot at being "himself" (or a prurient version thereof) and the gamble paid off. When his morning show was syndicated nationally in the mid-'80s, the shock jock became an unstoppable machine. Still, he frequently drew criticism (sometimes from his own long-suffering wife, Alison) as well as FCC fines for outrageous antics like Homeless Hollywood Squares and Butt Bongo. Soon A-list celebrities---as well as attractive young women willing to disrobe---were clamoring to get on the show, even though Stern would inevitably put them through the wringer. Listeners ate it up in large part because they identified with Stern's shtick as a sexually frustrated married man. In the '90s he branched out into other media, hosting several TV shows; writing an autobiography, Private Parts
; starring in the book's film adaptation; writing a second best-selling book, Miss America
, and producing various specials and series. Then in 1999 Stern surprised his fans by announcing that he and his wife of 21 years were splitting. But the show went on and was as popular (and controversial) as ever. In 2004, fed up with the constant battles with censors, Stern announced that he was ditching terrestrial radio for satellite starting in 2006, signing an unprecedented $500 million, five-year deal with Sirius. Off the air, Stern practices Transcendental Meditation and even appeared at a 2008 benefit for the David Lynch Foundation to give a TM testimonial.Howard Stern Fast Facts:
- On his first date with Alison, his wife of 21 years, saw a film based on the life of Lenny Bruce, an embattled entertainer whose career he would match for controversy over censorship.
- Cost Infinity Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications at least $4 million in FCC fines for indecent content from his 20-year nationally syndicated radio show that originated from WXRK (K-ROCK) in New York City.
- Launched Howard Stern on E! in 1993, the most durable small-screen project of the many attempted by the self-proclaimed "King of All Media."
- Set an earnings record for non-sports pay-per-view programming when the 1993-94 Miss Howard Stern New Year's Eve Pageant grossed $40 million.
- Briefly ran for Governor of New York on the Libertarian ticket in 1994, dropping out before the election when told he was required to disclose personal finances.
- Played himself in the 1997 Betty Thomas-directed Private Parts, which also featured his radio cohorts Robin Quivers and Fred Norris.
- Produced Son of the Beach, a raunchy, campy FX series about a loopy lifeguard.
- Removed the burden of censorship by signing a $500 million, five-year deal with Sirius satellite radio, where, in his second week, he admitted to having plastic surgery on his nose and chin in 1997.
- His 2008 wedding to Beth Ostrosky was officiated by actor Mark Consuelos, who is also an ordained minister.
- Howard Stern Relationships:
- Ben Stern - Father
- Alison Stern - Ex-wife
- Ashley Jade Stern - Daughter
- Beth Ostrosky - Wife
- Emily Beth Stern - Daughter
- Ray Stern - Mother
- Deborah Jennifer Stern - Daughter
- Ellen Dunn - Sister
- Boston University, Boston, MA (BS in Communications, 1976)