To be frank, Stern was known for being a complete jerk, having offended many people and even bullied them, to satisfy his anger and frustration. Luckily for him, despite his unacceptable behavior, he has quite the following. He huge fan has remained loyal to him and his shows throughout the years. However, there are some unimaginable things that have been unearthed and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be the ones to reveal them to you!
Married to Work
Howard met his first wife, Alison Berns, through a common friend when they were at Boston University. He was so smitten with Allison that he knew she’d be his wife. “Within a week after our relationship began, I knew I was going to marry her,” Stern said.
In 1978, Howard and Alison, both 24 years old at the time, got married at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Massachusetts. The couple decided to end their relationship in 1999, and had an amicable divorce in 2011. Stern blamed his work as the cause of their separation. He admitted that he was “totally neurotic and sort of consumed with work" and that he considered work as "the most important thing and the only thing.”
What His Daughters Have to Say
Howard and Alison had three daughters: Emily Beth (1983), Debra Jennifer (1986), and Ashley Jade (1993). Stern and his ex-wife both practice transcendental meditation.
Emily, Stern's eldest daughter who is also an actress and singer, blames her dad for the fact that she’s stayed single at the age of 35 years. She said that Howard’s “emphasis on sexuality [in his career]” kept her “out of the dating ring.” She also added. “I believed that my parents were very much in love,” Emily says, reflecting on her past. “I felt like the divorce came out of nowhere. I thought that sacred bond was so strong. He used to be one way, and then he marries a model.”. She is, of course, referring to his second wife, the model, Beth Ostrosky, who is 18 years his junior.
Down the Aisle Once Again
Following the end of his first marriage, Howard dated actresses and models, Robin Givens and Angie Everhart. Then he dated TV host and model, Beth Ostrosky, who later became his second wife. The couple was together for seven years before getting engaged on February 14, 2007.
Howard and Beth got married in 2008 at Le Cirque restaurant in New York City and the wedding ceremony was officiated by actor, Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa’s husband. Beth is 18 years younger than Howard and the pair are still together today. They share the same passion for pets and have reportedly fostered and found homes for 75 cats.
Not Exactly A Daddy's Girl
Emily Stern, Howard Stern's eldest daughter is pretty candid when asked about her relationship with her father which she describes as an “unhealthy” relationship. It's needless to say that she has some harsh criticism regarding the way her father raised her and her siblings.
“My dad always instilled in us, ‘Everybody’s watching you,’” Emily said. Although Howard claimed that it was for their own protection she views his warnings as narcissism, saying “I was alone. The belief that we were so different made it unhealthy.” Emily feels that he never truly accepted himself adding “Maybe because he was disconnected from the world, he experienced so much shame about who he was.”
Suspended for Indecent Content
Howard Stern has been an active radio personality for over 40 years and was heard on a variety of radio channels throughout his career. In 2004, he was banned from Clear Channel Communications following the broadcast of obscene material. ''Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content, and Howard Stern's show blew right through it,'' John Hogan, Clear Channel Radio's president said in a statement.
The sexually explicit material that cost Stern his job and credibility was his interview with Rick Salomon about his scandalous video with Paris Hilton. Stern and Salomon’s detailed description of the sexually explicit content cost the station a huge fine of $495,000, payable to the FCC.
A New Path
Following his suspension from Clear Channel Radio in 2004, Stern made an announcement that he would be moving to Sirius Satellite Radio for a five-year contract worth $500 million.
Sirius is a subscription-based satellite radio service and is, therefore, not subject to the FCC’s broadcast regulations. This means that Howard is not restricted from saying whatever he wants on air as penalties and other consequences won’t be an issue. Given his personality, the move clearly benefited him. And, given his popularity, it also suited the satellite radio station just fine. However, he still managed to make waves with the management regarding his payment.
A Quarrel with Quintanilla
One of the most controversial situations that Howard created for himself happened in 1995. After the death of Tejano superstar, Selena Quintanilla, Howard ridiculed her and her music. “Spanish people have the worst taste in music. … This music does absolutely nothing for me. Alvin and the Chipmunks have more soul,” he said.
His racist statements angered Selena’s fans and prompted Hispanic leaders in Texas to boycott all radio stations that aired the filterless Stern. Prior to the issuance of a warrant for his arrest, Stern apologized for his hurtful remarks. His apology came too late to make up for a reckless action that insulted the death of a famous artist and her music.
Paying for His Actions
Howard took it too far and was unmindful of his outrageous behavior. Not only was he greatly affected, but he was also issued a warrant of arrest for his unruly attitude. Between 1990 and 2004, the stations that aired The Howard Stern Show were fined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to an astounding total of $2.5 million.
With these incidents, Stern became the most fined radio host in America. An infamous honor indeed; courtesy, of course, of his indecent behavior. Stern didn’t feel that the problem was his, though. He blamed the administration of President George W. Bush for increasing the FCC’s scope to fine in 2004. Nevertheless, the penalties were necessary.
In the 1970s, Stern’s curiosity regarding illegal substances led him to engage with Quaaludes and LSD. In an interview with the popular rock band, Aerosmith, he willingly discussed his use of illegal drugs. "I hadn't done any drugs in a really long time and then I started smoking some weed," he revealed.
"Well I'll tell ya, what happened with me is, uh, you know, I figured, well it's been like 20 years since I smoked weed and weed was not very powerful back then,” he added. What made him stop using these illegal substances was a nightmare trip he had while high on LSD.
July 1990 marked the beginning of Howard Stern’s era. It was during this time that he was hired as the host of his own program, The Howard Stern Show, on WWOR-TV. The Saturday night variety television show was aired to 65 markets in the U.S. and even frequently beat Saturday Night Live in the ratings.
His global fame earned him the title “King of All Media.” However, after two years and 69 episodes, the show ended due to mounting fines for indecent material. Stern did not let this pass and rallied against the FCC by releasing a compilation of his vulgar radio segments.
Howard Stern, The Author
More than being an outspoken and rude radio host, Howard Stern is also an accomplished author. His two books, Private Parts, and Miss America were both listed in the New York Times bestseller list.
His first book, Private Parts, was an instant success as evidenced by its first batch of copies being sold just hours after it was released. Stern described his writing experience as “the most challenging thing I have ever done in my career.” It just goes to show that Stern is a celebrated artist both in radio and book, despite his big mouth. Well, to be fair, his blunt personality actually helps a lot more than it hinders.
Stern is Miss America
Stern inked a $3 million deal with ReganBooks in 1995 to write his second book, Miss America. The New York Times bestseller covered a range of topics, from Stern’s cybersex experiences to his private meeting with Michael Jackson.
When asked the reason for the title of his book, Stern said, “When I was a kid growing up in high school, I would come down the steps. My parents were disgusted by me. I had started this growth spurt. I looked like a big, hairy pencil. I’m walking down the steps and my father would look at me and I’d be in my underpants. And he looked down at “his son who was sprouting with facial hair and he’d go, ‘Oh, look. There’s Miss America.”
Stern For Governor
In 1994, Stern announced his desire to run as Governor of New York. His political programs included the removal of highway tolls to improve traffic flow and reinstating the death penalty. However, he backed out when he was required by the Ethics in Government Act to reveal his complete home address and financial status so that his name could be included on the final ballot.
"I spend 25 hours a week telling you all the most intimate details of my life... One fact I've never revealed is how much I make and how much money I have... it's none of your business," he said. In honor of Stern, Governor George Pataki signed the Howard Stern bill that restricted construction of roads in New York and Long Island during night hours.
Stern added a feather on his cap when he replaced Piers Morgan as a judge on America’s Got Talent in 2011. He served as a judge on the seventh to tenth season of the talent competition show.
“I thought it would be really cool to be a judge because I think I have something to offer,” he says. “If I had any dream about this, it’s that I could take someone who was struggling and seriously give advice. I was told over and over again that I had no talent. I was on college radio. No one was banking on me. I sent a copy of my show to my father, my father wrote me back a five-page letter and was brutally honest… It wasn’t harsh, I think it was out of love.”
A Martial Artist
The celebrity DJ is a proud brown belt holder in Shotokan karate, a martial arts style that engaged Stern for a couple of years. Shotokan originates from Japan and is considered a dynamic martial art due to its powerful techniques that improve one’s speed and agility. Those who have progressed to brown and black belt levels are said to have developed a smoother style that integrates grappling and throwing.
Seems anyone who wants to mess with Stern should not follow through unless you want a broken bone. Could this be Stern’s strategic move against his critics and bashers? If so, he’s doing himself a great favor.
On and Off the Air
Did you know that Stern has a different personality when he goes off the air? His colleagues who have witnessed his work revealed that they witnessed Stern’s totally different ‘zone’ when he’s not on air. One colleague explained: “People who’ve seen him work without his signature dark glasses have claimed his eyes go back and forth like a mile a minute.”
Stern himself said, “It’s almost like my eyes roll into the back of my head, and four hours later, the show’s over.” Kinda weird but this odd ‘zone’ is not surprising given what we know of Stern’s antics.
Stern Is An Extremely Wealthy Man
With an enviable annual salary of $90 million from his Sirius Satellite Radio career and his countless endorsements and investments, we are not shocked that Howard Stern has a net worth of $600 million. His wealth is undoubtedly a product of his hard work and passion for his craft.
Despite being the subject of controversies many times, he still managed to sell himself in the entertainment industry. As a radio host, judge, and author, among his many roles, Stern proved to his critics that he’s on the right track. Except of course in those countless moments when he put his foot in his mouth.
David Bowie Refused to Talk to Him
The legendary singer/songwriter David Bowie did something that disappointed Howard Stern. During Stern’s early years as a radio host, he was lucky enough to have Bowie as his special guest. The English singer impressed him with a few of his hit songs but refused to have an interview, which greatly disappointed him. At the time, Howard would have been thrilled to talk to David about his music.
The good thing is that Bowie made it up to Stern as he rendered an impressive performance during Stern’s birthday in 1998. We just realized that Stern didn’t have that convincing power over people all the time.
In an interview with David Letterman, Howard opened up about his struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He said that for a long period he was not aware and ignored his anxiety issues. As an example, he highlighted a specific routine when he would spend at least an hour in a bathroom just touching things. "I've come to understand that this behavior is trying to control a world that's out of control," Stern told Letterman.
What has helped Howard to manage his OCD is his practice of transcendental meditation. This is the same meditation that helped his mother survive depression. To this day, he’s not free from the symptoms of his anxiety but he’s able to handle it well.
He’s A Friend Of The 45th
Howard Stern is known to be an ally of the current president, who was present at his wedding. However, Stern knows how to make wise choices and draws a line between friendships and politics. In fact, he voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
This decision of Howard’s was a significant move and a reminder to others to not let friends or other irrelevant external forces influence their voting decisions. It’s hard to stick to your political belief when you know the rival party is one of your closest pals, right? We appreciate your conviction, Mr. DJ!
He Admires All Living Creatures
Howard is known to have a soft spot for animals. In fact, he and his second wife, Beth, are supporters of and fundraisers for the North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, New York. The organization is one of the largest animal shelters in the world and has been involved in saving animals from the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
In an interview, Stern revealed that he adopted a pescetarian diet (pure seafood diet) in his lifestyle. This goes to show that a man with a big mouth like Howard Stern can still have a gentle heart for animals who need love and care. Good job, Mr. Stern!
Larry King VS The Media King
One of the biggest feuds that rocked the entertainment world is Howard Stern’s beef with Larry King. Their conflict started when King said that Stern wouldn’t make a suitable replacement for him on his show. “No, I wouldn't want to be compared to Howard Stern," King said. He also added that the radio host is “not tasteful at all."
When Stern learned about the remarks, he responded that King was only successful after having dominance handed to him on primetime night talk. "Larry King did overnight radio. He got no ratings," said Stern. "He moved to CNN where he had no competition. As soon as MSNBC and Fox News gave him a little bit of competition, the cards folded," Stern said.
His Secret to Staying Calm
Although he is the opposite of calm, Howard knows when to relax and take things easy; he does this best through meditation. In an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, he revealed that he started to meditate when he was just 18 years of age.
He also credited transcendental meditation for the mental health of his mother who suffered from depression. “I go off to college and I get a call in my freshman year from a woman who sounded completely different! ‘I can’t tell you what’s happened in my life, I feel unbelievable’—I could sense that my Mum was profoundly different!” Howard said. The same practice taught him to give up smoking and helped him managed his OCD.
A Thirty Year Fued
It took three decades before the one-sided feud of Howard Stern and Kathie Lee Gifford came to an end. “Howard Stern had a feud with me going on 30 years. I never met him. I never listened to his show. He hated my guts for 30 years,” the Today Show host said. She also added that Stern hated everything about her, from her family to her opinions. However, Kathie treated him with the utmost kindness and told him that she had forgiven him when he deeply apologized for his behavior.
“There’s a message from him, a voicemail. I was blown away and will you call me?’ He calls again during dinner, we had a half-hour conversation. ‘Will you forgive me, Kathie, please? I’m doing some hard work on my life. I know I hurt you. I’m so sorry and I need to ask you to forgive me,’” Kathie said.
He's Had Some Work Done
It’s quite ironic that Stern paid a lot of attention and made nasty comments on the way other celebrities look yet he’s not content with his own physical appearance. In 2006, the famous radio personality made a big reveal—he has gone under the knife. The plastic surgery procedures that he put himself through include a facelift, chin liposuction, and he even had his nose done.
That being the case, he should probably avoid making ugly remarks on other people’s looks so as not to get a dose of his own medicine. We cannot imagine how he’d respond to his ultimate bashers if they dared hit back at him.
"...It's The Nature Of The Beast To Get Fired."
Often controversial, the renowned shock jock, Howard Stern, found himself in another spot of trouble when Washington’s DC101 fired him. Shocked and disappointed with the news, Stern (who was 31 years old at the time) said, "I never lead a dull life, but I'm pretty shocked at this one. We just had our highest ratings ever. I guess it's the nature of the beast to get fired."
So what exactly led to Stern getting the sack? Well, in 1982, an Air Florida plane crashed into the 14th Street Bridge, killing 74 people. Instead of offering his deepest condolences on the tragedy, Howard called the airline on-air and asked the cost of flying from the airport to the 14th Street Bridge. Such an uncalled for remark was not accepted by the management of DC101, hence the termination.
A Mock Funeral?
One of the things that makes Stern happy is mocking other people, and John DeBella of WMMR was not exempted from his uncanny behavior. DeBella was number one in ratings in Philadelphia until Stern overtook him, that is. To celebrate his victory, Stern held a mock funeral for DeBella on May 10, 1990. So weird.
20 years later, Stern apologized to DeBella. The latter revealed the voice message that Stern left by saying, “After that was over and done with, I come home one day and there’s this message on my phone, and it’s Howard,” DeBella remembered. “And he says, ‘You know what, I can’t thank you enough for being part of this. I could have never done this. You are a bigger man than I could ever be and, looking back, I’m ashamed of what I’ve done.
Stern’s Outrageous Comment On The Columbine Shooting
He never learned his lessons and maybe won’t. Despite his countless fines and terminations from FCC and different radio stations, Stern continues to attack with his offensive mouth. The day after the horrific Columbine High School massacre, Stern let his dark side run free, making horrendously insulting comments. Read on to see exactly what the shock jock said.
“There were some really good-looking girls running with their hands over their heads. Did those kids try to have sex with any of those good-looking girls? They didn’t even do that? At least if you’re going to kill yourself and kill the kids, why wouldn’t you have some sex?” Wow. Can you get any more inappropriate?
Long Live The King Of All Media
Being hailed as the “King of All Media” wasn’t enough for Howard Stern. To make sure he held on to this glorious title, he filed a trademark for the name in 2006. Makes you think back to his daughter’s narcissism reference, huh? Although his application was rejected a couple of times, it went through a long and rigid procedure before it was granted on August 1, 2013 (the long wait was all worth it).
This means Stern now has the legit ownership of the trademark and if anyone tries to use the title “King of All Media” on any other figure, Stern has every right to sue the person. Be careful, guys.
He's A Musician at Heart
Howard Stern was born to be a man of many roles. Aside from a being a radio and TV personality, he even released three albums. Yes, you read that right: 3 albums! His first was released in 1982 during his time as a DJ, entitled 50 Ways to Rank Your Mother . The album includes tracks like “Richard’s Family Feud,” “I Shot Ron Reagan” and “Howard Stern Is A God.”
The second album, called Crucified By the FCC, was a compilation of his many scandalous moments from The Howard Stern Show which was released in 1992. His third album is the film soundtrack for Private Parts, a movie about his life which was released in 1997.
Howard has been incredibly vocal about his hatred of the National Radio Hall of Fame . So it came as a shock when they announced, in 2012, that he was about to be inducted as their latest honoree into the Chicago institution. Faced with such an honor, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” took to the radio to attack Bruce DuMont, the hall’s director, for the ninth time.
He argued that the only reason they were adding him as an inductee was that they realized they had to boost the profile of the “little-known Hall of Fame.” Now that’s another round of controversy.
Stern Gets Sued
One controversy after another—that was the way life rolled for Stern. And it seems he doesn’t care about the impact of his terrible conduct. Judith Barrigas, a taxpayer from Massachusetts had a private call with IRS agent, Jimmy Forsyth, on May 19, 2015, about her taxes. In an unlikely turn of events, Howard Stern aired (live!) on SiriusXM the confidential conversation which included Barrigas’ phone number.
Forsyth called The Howard Stern Show and was placed on hold until Howard was ready to take calls. While on hold, he took a call from Barrigas. Little did they know that the show’s producers and Stern were listening to them and eventually decided to broadcast snippets of their conversation. In February 2016, Barrigas sued Stern and the IRS for invasion of privacy and negligence.
Howard's Self Care Routine
Howard Stern is a certified workaholic and taking a break from work seems impossible to him. However, in a rare moment on May 2017, Stern did the unexpected and made his millions of followers worried when he canceled his radio show to take a “personal day.” Without any explanation, he sent the internet into a frenzy and assumptions flooded social media.
Was he just attending to personal issues? Were there marital problems? Had someone died? To set the record straight, Stern said “I wanted to take off today because my voice is still shot, but I was afraid to. I missed a day of work and all of a sudden it’s bigger news than James Comey.”
Stern Wants to Remain Youthful
Howard has been active in radio throughout his career and it seems that retirement is far from his plans. However, the popular radio host dropped a hint about withdrawing from his job. In an interview with David Letterman in August 2017, he recognized the glow in the TV host now that he’d retired by saying, “I fantasize that if I retire, I would have this youthful look.” And then he added. “I feel a bit burned out.”
With his demanding job, it is just right that he takes a break or a “personal day” every week but wait, millions will surely miss hearing him on the radio.
He Wanted the Microphone Since He Was a Child
“When I saw my father as a recording engineer... I was enamored. Looking at how my father was so reverential to those people, I thought that maybe he could look at me with that kind of respect if I could get behind a microphone,” Stern on his father, Ray Stern’s influence on his life, particularly on his job as a radio personality.
Howard wished to be part of the radio in-crowd, right from the young age of five. Influenced by his pops, who co-owns a recording studio in Manhattan that caters to commercial and cartoon voice-overs, young Howard would visit his father’s workplace often and get inspired by the work done there.
His Early Years
Stern’s first radio gig happened during his second year at Boston University. His work on the campus radio station, WTBU, included playing records, reading the news, and hosting interview programs. Later on, he co-hosted a weekly comedy program called The King Schmaltz Bagel Hour with three other students.
That time, Stern was already getting himself and the show in big trouble, courtesy of his offensive statements. After one airing, the show was immediately canceled because of a discriminating sketch named “Godzilla Goes to Harlem.” After everything we’ve learned about Stern, we’re hardly surprised. After all, he wouldn’t be Stern without being reckless with his words.
Stern Goes Pro
Howard’s first wife, Alison Berns left a significant mark on Stern’s life. When they were still together, she persuaded her husband to pursue a career at WRNW, a rock radio station in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
He started as part of the station’s production and later became a program director. From $96 a week, his dedication and perseverance within his chosen profession earned him a weekly salary of $250. The rest is history, as they say. With the professionalism and hard work he poured into his craft, Stern is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s most prized personalities, as evidenced by his stellar recognition and legacy in the radio and entertainment industries.
He's Been Around, As Far As Radio Stations Are Concerned
Because of his provocative statements on air, Stern moved from one station to another. Impressed with his ability to score higher ratings in no time, WNBC offered him a five-year contract worth $1 million for afternoon work, which he accepted.
Aware of his deliberately offensive behavior on air, the station hired a lawyer to cut off his microphone if he started talking about forbidden topics. The shock jock that he is, Stern followed his own rules and had a strained relationship with the management and other DJs. He was terminated from the station in 1985 due to “conceptual differences” about the show.