Howard Stern is a media personality, radio talk show host, and co-host of America’s Got Talent. He is most well known for his controversial radio show, which is available on Sirius XM, a satellite radio service that is not censored. Even though the media generally portrays him as being controversial and willing to do anything to provoke a shock, Howard Stern says that he actually doesn’t want to shock people. He is considered the best paid radio host in the US and he is also the one that received the most fines, since he begun his career in 1986.
He was born in 1954, on January 12, in New York City. His parents were Ray and Ben Stern, immigrants of Austro-Hungarian origins. He has an elder sister, four years bigger than him. His interest with radio began in his early years, as his father was one of the owners of a recording studio, where commercials and cartoons were produced at the time.
He married Alison Berns, his former college sweetheart, in 1978, on June 4th, at a synagogue from Brooklyn, Massachusetts. They were both 24 years old at the time. Their marriage resulted in three daughters, in 1983 (Emily Beth), 1986 (Debra Jennifer) and 1993 (Ashley Jade). They separated in 1999 and divorced in 2001. Stern went on and married Beth Ostrosky, in 2008.
His first radio job was in 1975, at a radio station from the campus of Boston University. He presented “The King Schmaltz Bagel Hour” comedy program, together with some friends from college. His style was developed in the initial years he spent at Detroit, Hartford and Briarcliff Manor. In 1981 he was part of a radio station from Washington, while in 1982 he was in New York, the biggest radio market of the US. He was fired in 1985, after a couple of years of keeping the main afternoon show at the station. His next job was at WXRK, in New York, a job he kept for the next two decades. After that he chose to go to satellite radio, escaping the restrictions that got him so many fines from the FCC. He signed with Sirius Satellite Radio, ending a period where he had the most fined show on radio.
The budget for the production costs, staff and for Stern’s salary was over $500 million for the duration of the contract, which will expire in the last day of 2010. He also received a very big bonus in stock, when he managed to meet the agreed subscriber quota, as part of the Sirius contract. The large sums received as part of this contract allowed Stern to become one of the Time’s most influential people. Forbes also named him the 7th most powerful celebrity.
He calls himself the kind of media, of all types, since he’s had success not only in radio but also with books and in some movies and TV shows. He has written two books, called Private Parts (in 1993) and Miss America (in 1995), which sold very well and went on the New York Times list of best sellers very fast. Private Parts was made into a film in 1997, and went on to gross around $40 million in the US. As for his TV appearances, Howard Stern appeared in a number of late night shows and in some specials that appeared on pay per view.