RIP Judge Joseph Wapner from The People's Court

Monday, 27 Feb, 2017

The retired judge who changed television with his opinionated, passionate views on "The People's Court", has died, TMZ.com reports.

Wapner got his start as a legal professional, appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1959 and going onto serve on LA County's Superior Court two years later.

In 1993, the show's producers announced that Wapner would not be returning and The People's Court went on hiatus for four years. He also made his mark on pop culture, being lampooned in sketch shows including "Saturday Night Live".

The People's Court launched initially in 1981 and quickly became a sensation on daytime TV.

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"When "The People's Court" came along, I had an opportunity to really teach people about law". Judge Wapner from "People's Court" has passed away at the age of 97. Wapner was taken to home for hospice care on Friday. Former lawyer and mayor of New York, Ed Koch, replaced Wapner for two seasons and was later succeeded by Judge Jerry Sheindlin (Judge Judy Sheindlin's husband).

Wapner was married for 70 years to wife Mickey, and was the father of three children.

In 2009, shortly before his 90th birthday, Judge Wapner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.