Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
Judge Jeanine Pirro on The CW
Currently Known For:
Justice with Judge Jeanine
Judge Jeanine Pirro on The CW
The roots of judges presiding over courts on reality television during the daytime can be traced back to the early 1980s thanks to Judge Joseph Wapner on “The People’s Court”. The series would help to usher in a new era of modern daytime shows that made stars out of many different judges. This included the likes of Judge Judy Sheindlin, Judge Joe Brown and many more. Among those that have enjoyed the most success in this field is Jeanine Pirro, who maintains success in the media even though it’s been several years since her court TV show came to an end.
Pirro was born on June 2, 1951 in Elmira, New York, quite far away from the big city to the east. Though her parents didn’t have backgrounds in law, Pirro knew that from a young age that she wanted to become a lawyer. “I didn’t dream of my wedding day,” she said of her childhood. “I dreamed of standing in the well of a courtroom.” Pirro showcased her knowledge during her teenage years as she graduated from high school a year early and working in the District Attorney’s office during that time. Once she graduated from high school, Pirro attended the University of Buffalo for her undergraduate degree, and then Union University to receive her Juris Doctor.
At just 24 years old, Pirro would become the Assistant District Attorney in New York’s second largest county (Westchester) with many of her cases coming in the domestic violence and child abuse departments. A new division would be added specifically for these cases, which Pirro was put in charge of. “I was very much looking forward to the task,” she said. “Because I had just gotten out of law school...and I believed that equal rights and equal justice applied to everyone.”
“You didn’t have to be a prosecutor for very long to realize that women and children were exempt from that premise,” Pirro continued. “For me, it was an opportunity to really change the dialogue and to be able to deal with true crime victims so alienated that they weren’t even considered crime victims at the time.” In her county, Pirro became known for refusing to drop cases that victims had requested be dropped, saying that the victims could easily be coerced into such situations. As a result, Pirro had a 100 percent conviction rate on felony trials.
Richard Weill, who worked alongside Pirro, said that she “seemed to be on trial all the time,” and that “She handled some very high profile, some very difficult cases. These are open courtrooms; you get attention. People covered her cases and she got attention as a result - and she deserved it.” Because of the attention that she received, Pirro became a public figure in New York and it prompter her to run for Lieutenant Governor of New York when Andrew O’Rourke was running for the Governor position. The duo wouldn’t win, but that would hardly be the end of Pirro’s career.
Instead, she’d go back into the courtroom and in the 1990s, and ran for a judge position in Westchester County. She’d win the election in 1990, and had many high profile cases come through her courtroom. In the years since, Pirro has had other electoral ambitions, running for the United States Senate in 2006 and became the New York State Attorney General candidate for the Republican Party later that year, but lost out to Andrew Cuomo (who is now New York’s Governor).
After a long career in law, Pirro decided to branch out and get involved with the media, becoming a frequent guest on talk shows, especially when there was a topic on law. Pirro then wrote a book in the early 2000s that garnered attention, and would then get her own show in 2008. Like many daytime judges, Pirro found herself on network television in the show simply known as “Judge Jeanine Pirro” that aired for several hundred episodes and even received a Daytime Emmy. However, the ratings weren’t up to the expectations that the CW had set, and the series was axed in 2011.
Since 2011, Pirro has been very active on the political forum as she’s hosted a show on the Fox News Channel called “Justice with Judge Jeanine”. The show first aired in 2011 and has been on the air ever since, broadcasting on Saturday nights. Pirro has drawn some attention for being very vocal about her politics, siding with the Republican Party and even attracting the praise of President Donald Trump, who she’s firmly supported since he announced his campaign for the White House in 2016.
While also a part of the Fox family of networks, Pirro was tabbed with hosting the 2017 show “You the Jury”. The series would have audience members vote their opinion on cases depending on the evidence that was presented, but it wouldn’t last long. The series aired just two episodes before being cancelled. Still, it was another form of experience that PIrro had on her media resume, and she continues to host her successful show on Fox News.
Though not everyone tends to agree with her political opinions, Pirro has remained one of the more notable people in law media over the past 30 years. Between multiple books, television shows and court cases that made national news, Pirro has been a prominent figure and it appears that she will continue that role for years to come.