September 15, 1919 - February 26, 2017
Born to Russian and Romanian immigrants in Los Angeles, California, Joseph Wapner would go on to become one of the earliest “Legal Celebrities” in the country. Between 1941 and 1948 Wapner earned not only two degrees including a degree from USC Law School, he also earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star serving in the US Army in World War II.
He would go on to be in private practice for 10 years, then 2 years in the L.A. Municipal Court before serving another 18 years on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Following his retirement, Wapner presided over “The People’s Court” for 12 years, and over 2000 televised segments.
Joseph Wapner passed away from respiratory failure in his home on February 26th, 2017.
(image from Wikipedia.org)