Morris Kermit Bauer, father of Dr. Joyce Brothers, was born on Rivington Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in June 1901, the first of five sons to be born to Austrian immigrants. He graduated law school, became an attorney and married Estelle Rapaport in May 1926 before they moved to a Brooklyn apartment.
The couple was blessed with a baby girl named Joyce Diane Bauer on Oct. 20, 1927, followed four years later by her sister Elaine. Without a son, Morris strongly encouraged his daughters to excel and do everything and anything a boy could do. The family soon moved to 137-57 228 St. in Laurelton — a 1,956-square-foot, one-story house on a 100-by-100-foot lot.
Because there was no high school in Laurelton, Joyce graduated from Far Rockaway High in January 1944. She double majored in economics and psychology at Cornell University before earning a Ph. D. in psychology from Columbia University. She married Milton Brothers, a doctor of internal medicine, in July 1949.
She became an overnight success in 1955 as the only woman to win the top prize on the TV game show “The $64,000 Question.” She later became the first female boxing commentator on TV during the 1957 Robinson-Basilio match. She also became the first TV psychologist, hosting her own talk show, “Living Easy with Dr. Joyce Brothers,” as well as being a favorite frequent guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
Brothers passed away in her Fort Lee, NJ home on May 13, 2013 at age 85.