30 Interesting Facts To Know About Dr. Phil McGraw


Phillip Calvin McGraw, widely known by the name “Dr. Phil,” for hosting the television show “Dr. Phil,” is an American television personality, author, psychologist. He is ranked as one among the top 5 highest earning celebrities in the world by Forbes. Here are 30 facts to know about him:

  1. His fellow psychotherapists have criticized his methods of treatment and advice. They have stated that either the advice is too simple or ineffective.
  2. He was also criticized by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill for his conduct on screen in his famous show Dr. Phil as irresponsible or unethical.
  3. During an interview in 2001 he stated that he was completely against the traditional one on one counseling and never practiced it. He quoted “I am not the Hush-Puppies, pipe and Let’s talk about your mother kind of psychologist.”
  4. He founded the charity Dr. Phil Foundation on October 2003 that supports children and family with emotional and monetary needs. The main objective of his charity was to raise money to fight childhood obesity.
  5. Oprah Winfrey was tangled in Amarillo Texas Beef Trial in 1995 for which she hired McGraw’s legal consulting firm “CSI” for the case. She won the case in 1998 and was so impressed with him that she invited him to appear in her show.
  6. His first appearance in Oprah Winfrey’s show was so successful that she hired him to appear on her show on every Tuesday. He was hired as relationship and life strategy expert from April 1998.
  7. Following his success in Oprah Winfrey he formed his own production house “Peteski Production” in September 2002 to launch his television show Dr. Phil backed by Winfrey’s Harpo Studios.
  8. In 1999 he published his book on relationship book “Life Strategies” that became his bestselling books. He subsequently released three more books in the same genre in the next four years.
  9. He entered the weight loss business with supplements, shakes and bars in 2003. He used his sisters Brenda and Deana along with nephew Tony for promotion. He immediately faced criticism for lack of expertise in the products as his product “Shape it up, Woo Woo!” stated “"These products contain scientifically researched levels of ingredients that can help you change your behavior to take control of your weight.” He withdrew his product in 2004.
  10. In 2005, several people who used his weight loss product filed a class action lawsuit against him, stating they did not feel any behavioral change to lose weight as the product suggested. He settled the lawsuit in 2006 for $10.5 million part of which was paid as Amway products.
  11. An unauthorized biography of Phil titled “The Making of Dr. Phil” was written by Dallas Morning News reporter Sophia Dembling and The Kansas City Star reporter Lisa Gutierrez. They did not receive any promotional support from McGraw.
  12. In 2005 he signed a deal for $15 million a year for his show with the distributors King World Productions. The deal was made for the show to be aired till 2013-2014 season.
  13. His son Jay started a show “Renovate my Family” similar to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that was canceled in the second season in 2005 due to another lawsuit.
  14. In 2006 he was ranked at #22 in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list for his income of $45 million.
  15. Similar to CBS’s “Big Brother” he started a show Dr. Phil House in 2006. Due to protests by neighbors the house at Los Angeles was shut down and the show was shot at a studio back lot.
  16. In 2007 the ratings for Dr. Phil began to slide down. In the beginning of the year he enjoyed the viewership of 7 million people, reduced to 4 million by August 2008. His income also fell below $30 million.
  17. He appeared in another lawsuit in 2006 by Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe who claimed invasion of privacy, defamation, fraud, and civil conspiracy against him. They were interviewed by McGraw and aired in September 2005 portraying them indulging in criminal acts against Natalee Holloway, who disappeared in May 2005.
  18. In an attempt to invite Britney Spears and her family members to his show Dr. Phil, he visited her in hospital room in January 2008. He even issued public statements about the visit which drew wide spread criticism.
  19. A complaint was lodged with California Board of Psychology against McGraw, for practicing without a license and violating patient-doctor privilege by discussing the details of Spears to media. It was never investigated.
  20. He was born in Oklahoma to Anne Geraldine and Joseph McGraw on September 1, 1950. He has three siblings: Deana and Donna, sisters older to him and Brenda, a younger sister. His father was an equipment supplier before he became a psychologist.
  21. One of the producers of Dr. Phil had taken bail for the leader of group of girls that had assaulted another girl and were booked at Polk County. The producers had intended to interview her regarding the incident. However the news of her bail created an outcry and the show had to be canceled.
  22. Thomas Riccio sued McGraw for fraud, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress for false editing of the show in which he appeared in 2008. He had appeared in the Dr. Phil in 2008 relating to the taping of Las Vegas robbery that convicted OJ Simpson.
  23. Frank Lawlis was the person who guided McGraw through his doctoral program. He later became the primary consulting psychologist for the television show Dr. Phil.
  24. He married Debbie Higgins McCall, an ex-cheerleader and homecoming queen in the year 1970. However, the relationship lasted only for a couple of years and ended in 1973. He began dating Robin Jo Jameson even before his first marriage was annulled. He has two children with Jameson - Jay McGraw born in 1979, and Jordan McGraw born in 1986.
  25. He completed his graduation in B.A Psychology in 1975, M.A in experimental Psychology in 1976 and Ph.D in Clinical Psychology in 1979.
  26. McGraw, after finishing his doctorate joined his father Joe McGraw in Texas where the senior was practicing his own psychology. Later both of them joined a successful businesswoman Thelma Box, in presenting seminars that motivate individuals in achieving their goal.
  27. His experience with Thelma Box can be witnessed in his first book “Life Strategies”, where he used many of the materials from the seminar. He also uses many of the phrases and terminologies in his shows that were used by Box for the seminars.
  28. In 1988 he was penalized and received a letter of reprimand from Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for recruiting a former patient as part timer without providing a proper termination of therapy and initiation of employment.
  29. He has made cameo appearances in various TV series including the "Frasier," "Sesame Street," "The Simpsons," "Hannah Montana," "Curb Your Enthusiam," and also in films such as "Scary Movie 4," and "Madea Goes to Jail."
  30. He co-founded CSI (Courtroom Sciences Inc), a consulting firm in 1990 along with lawyer Gary Dobbs. The firm later became very profitable as they started advising Fortune 500 companies and other plaintiffs in achieving settlements.
  31. Dr. Phil has and estimated net worth of $400 million in 2016

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