This incessantly upbeat human-behavior expert has been imploring viewers to "get real" ever since he became a regular on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s. By 2002, McGraw's down-home demeanor and straightforward counsel was so popular that he earned his own eponymous talk show, in which he helped ordinary people deal with everything from addictions to money troubles to domestic abuse. Because of his touchy-feely persona, Dr. Phil---as he is affectionately known---is often lampooned. However, McGraw has shown he can also be self-deprecating, appearing as himself in the big-screen comedies Scary Movie 4 and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. And his astronomical success, including prime-time specials and best-selling books, means he's laughing louder than his detractors---all the way to the bank.

Fast Facts

  • Went to the University of Tulsa on a football scholarship, but transferred to Midwestern State University after an injury.
  • Spent 10 years working in a private psychology practice with his father.
  • First of many books, Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters, was published in 1999.
  • Sesame Street puppet Dr. Feel is modeled after him.
  • Dr. Phil Foundation helps provide disadvantaged and foster children with education, housing, job training and medical and mental health services.
  • Appeared on a 2010 episode of the Tennis Channel's Celebrity Tennis to discuss his obsession with the game.


  • Jordan McGraw — Son
  • Robin McGraw — Wife
  • Joe McGraw — Father
  • Jay McGraw — Son
  • Debbie Higgins McCall — Ex-wife
  • Jerry McGraw — Mother


  • Attended University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States; Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, United States (BA in Psychology, 1975); University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, United States (MA and PhD in Psychology, 1979)

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  • Birth Name: Phillip C. McGraw
  • Birth Place: Vinita, Oklahoma, United States
  • Profession: Talk-show host, Author, Psychologist

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