Los Angeles, CA: Retired judge Joseph Wapner, who famously presided over televised court cases on “The People’s Court”, has died.
The retired judge who famously presided over televised court cases on “The People’s Court”, 97 year old Joseph Wapner, has died on Sunday, February 26th, 2017.
A family member says Joseph Wapner died at home in his sleep.
Joseph Wapner was hospitalized a week ago with breathing problems and had been under home hospice care.
From 1981 to 1993, “The People’s Court” was one of the granddaddies of the reality court shows of today, deciding real small-claims cases on the show.
Joseph Wapner auditioned for the show soon after retiring from Los Angeles, California courts, where he had been a judge for more than 20 years.
His affable, no-nonsense approach attracted many fans, putting the show in the top five in syndication at its peak.
Joseph Wapner retired as judge in November 1979, the day after his 60th birthday.
Joseph Wapner is survived by his wife of 70 years Mickey, and 2 daughters-in-law, 4 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
** Pictures from NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4 and NBC News: **