Joyce Bauer was born in New York City in 1927. After attaining a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, she went on study the psychology of behaviour and personality at Columbia University, earning a master’s degree in 1949 and a doctorate in 1953.
In the mid-1950s, when television was still in its early years, a game show called “The $64,000 Question” drew vast audiences each week. Dr Joyce Brothers won the the top prize in 1955. Given the unlikely topic of boxing, supported by intensive study (she memorised the Encyclopaedia of Boxing in a few weeks) and a capacious memory, she gained growing fame as she responded correctly week after week. Two years later she appeared on “The $64,000 Challenge” and won that too.
Over the years, Dr Brothers became the face of American psychology. She seemed to stand out for her ability to give concise, comprehensible advice on constant television appearances, speaking frankly on many topics and responding to society’s growing desire to speak publicly about matters once kept private.
A frequent guest on talk shows and radio, Dr Joyce Brothers’ face and name were recognisable instantly to millions. Her solutions, ideas and recommendations appeared in a syndicated newspaper column that at one point ran in more than 300 papers. Her column in Good Housekeeping magazine ran for over four decades, and she published several best-selling books.
Joyce Brothers died in 2015 in New Jersey at the age of 85.