Who Is Dr. Phil And What Do We Know About His Family?

Dr. Phil is one of the many people in the media business today that owe their breakthrough to media mogul Oprah Winfrey. The television personality and author first gained celebrity status in the late 1990s when he became a frequent guest on the widely watched Oprah Winfrey Show. A trained Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Phil was later able to launch his own show in the early 2000s where he has been able to attract millions of viewers who tune in to listen to him offer advice and strategies to take on life.

As the years have gone by, the Oklahoma native has gone ahead to cement himself amongst the wealthiest people on television, a position he has used to better the lives of many others.

Early Life and Career

Dr. Phil was born Phillip Calvin McGraw on the first day of September 1950 in Vinita, Oklahoma. According to his educational records, he received his high school education at the Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He subsequently attended the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma on a football scholarship before transferring to Midwestern State University, Texas.

Phil graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Psychology in 1975 before proceeding to get his masters in Experimental Psychology the following year. In 1979, he obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Texas and then began to practice. A few years later, he moved to collaborate with other people to begin hosting motivational-like seminars.

Dr. Phil At A Glance

In 1990, Dr. Phil joined forces with a lawyer named Gary Dobbs to establish Courtroom Sciences Incorporated (CSI), a trial consulting firm through which he would help build cases based on the subject of investigation. By observing the behavioral patterns of the accused, suspects, or even the plaintiffs, Phil would be able to determine the best line of defense or prosecuting argument to put up.

How He Began Appearing on Television

Dr. Phil devoted all of his time to CSI and that decision proved to be a turning point in his life as it led to him meeting Oprah Winfrey. His firm was hired by her to help her prepare for the Amarillo Texas beef trial. Phil’s work not only impressed the media executive but also helped her win the case. This signaled the start of a relationship between the pair as he began to appear on her popular self-titled TV show.

Dr. Phil first started appearing every Tuesday on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a life strategy expert. He went on to publish a number of books, including his first best-selling book, Life Strategies and Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out, before launching his own self-titled daily TV talk-show in September 2002. The highly-rated Dr. Phil talk show, which is aired in the United States on a daily basis, records an average daily audience of 6 million people.

Interesting Facts to Know About Dr. Phil’s Family

He Has Three Sisters

Dr. Phil is the only son of four children to his parents; Joseph J. McGraw Jr. and Anne Geraldine “Jerry”. He was raised alongside sisters; Deana, Donna, and his younger sister Brenda in Noth Texas where his father made a living as a supplier of oil drilling equipment. His father would, however, later study to become a psychologist.

Philip McGraw Has Been Married Twice

Dr. Phil has been married twice. His first marriage was to Debbie Higgins McCall in 1970 when he was just 20 years old. The college football player exchanged vows with the popular cheerleader and homecoming queen at the Southridge Presbyterian Church of Roeland Park. Their marriage was later annulled after three years following accusations that Phil was domineering and never allowed his wife to take part in the family business but instead restricted her to domestic duties.

In 1976, Philip McGraw exchanged marital vows for the second time with a woman identified as Robin Jo Jameson. Robin is a well-known philanthropist and author who has been part of her husband’s show since its inception. She renders advisory services that mostly center on women and their daily family experience, motherhood, and how to become a great wife.

Dr. Phil Has Two Sons

Dr. Phil Family

Dr. Phil and his wife Robin Jo have two sons together. The first child, Jay McGraw, was born on September 12, 1979, while the second child, Jordan McGraw, was born in 1986.

Like his father, Jay is a television producer and author who writes self-help books for teenagers. In 2006, he married former Playboy Playmate Erica Dahm and together the couple has two kids – London Phillip and Avery Elizabeth McGraw. Jordan, on the other hand, is a musician and guitarist for the American band Hundred Handed. He formerly played for Stars in Stereo between 2011 and 2015.

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Ugochukwu Nwadinobi
Ugochukwu Nwadinobi
Ugo has extensive professional writing experience and has been writing, editing and updating articles on multiple platforms for several years now. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favourite pastimes.


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