Sally Jessy Raphaël, born Sally Lowenthal on February 25, 1935in Easton, Pennsylvania, is an American talk show host and television presenter. For many years, she disclosed her birth year as 1943, but events like her first marriage, the birth of her children, and her second marriage, have proven this to be false.
She hosted a radio call-in advice show distributed by NBC Talknet from 1981 to 1987, but is most famous for hosting the television talk show, Sally, which ran in first-run syndication from 1985 to 2002. She was best known to TV viewers for her big, red-framed glasses, and the Kleenex tissues she handed out liberally to crying guests.
In later years, her show moved toward topics such as unwed mothers who did not know the father of their babies, and wild, sexually active teenagers who were sent to boot camp; in this regard, her show had become reminscient of shows hosted by Maury Povich and Jerry Springer. At its core, her show had not previously touched such topics, going for less controversial subject matter.
Sally spoke out in the press against the change to more raunchy material, but she continued the show, insisting that she'd rather be on television with lower ratings rather than end her career entirely. When her talk show became one of the lowest-rated talk shows in syndication by the early 2000s, the show was eventually canceled by the production company in charge of distribution.
Sally has been married since 1963 to Karl Soderlund, who also doubles as her manager.
In 1992, her 19-year-old adopted son was seriously injured in a car accident. Mere weeks after the incident, her daughter Allison (from her first marriage to Andrew Vladimir) died in her sleep after combining alcohol and painkillers for a back injury. Her grief from the two incidents was highly publicized in the media.
Today, she hosts a weekend radio show, Sally JR's Open House, on the Internet.