Steve Wilkos

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Steve Wilkos
Wilkos at the 2012 New York Comic Con.
Born Steven John Wilkos
(1964-03-09) March 9, 1964 (age 54)
Chicago, Illinois
Residence Fairfield County, Connecticut
Occupation Television host, talk show host, U.S. Marine, former police officer, patrolman, director of security
Years active 1982–1989 (Marine)
1990–2001 (police officer)
1994–2007 (Director of Security)
2007–present (television host)
Known for The Jerry Springer Show and The Steve Wilkos Show
Spouse(s) Rachelle Wilkos (m. 2000)
Children 2
Military career
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1982–1989
Rank Sergeant
Unit 7th Comm Battalion, Okinawa
MCB Quantico, Virginia
MACG-48, Illinois
MCRD Parris Island

Cold War

  • Team Spirit 1983

Steven John Wilkos (/ˈwɪlks/; born March 9, 1964) is an American television personality, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a former law enforcement officer with the Chicago Police Department.[1] He has been hosting The Steve Wilkos Show since 2007, and was director of security on The Jerry Springer Show from 1994 to 2007. He had previously substituted for Springer as host on several occasions before being given his own talk show.

Early life and education[edit]

Wilkos was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jeanette (née Pelikan), a beauty school instructor, and Stanley Wilkos, a former police officer who was in the Korean War as an army paratrooper.[2][3] He has a brother and two sisters, the third of four children. Wilkos grew up poor[4] He went to John J Audubon grammar school and graduated from Lane Technical High School in 1982.


Wilkos in the 1980s as a U.S. Marine.

In October 1982,[5] Wilkos joined the United States Marine Corps, serving in South Korea, Japan, Illinois, Virginia, and South Carolina before being discharged in March 1989.[6]

Chicago Police Department[edit]

Wilkos joined the Chicago Police Department in 1990,[1] where he was stationed in the Logan Square, Chicago neighborhood.

The Jerry Springer Show[edit]

In May 1994, the producers of The Jerry Springer Show, taped in Chicago at that time, needed security guards, so they decided to hire Wilkos and other off-duty police officers to work part-time for the show.[7] Wilkos recruited several fellow officers for the job,[1] and he retired from the force and worked exclusively for the show beginning in 2001.

Entertainment Weekly reported that Wilkos became a professional wrestler with the Maryland Championship Wrestling during a temporary production hiatus of Springer.[8][9] In 2005, Wilkos appeared as a guest on Check, Please!, a restaurant-reviewing program on Chicago's PBS station, WTTW.[10] In 2006, after Springer began what would be a seven-episode stint on Dancing with the Stars, Wilkos filled in for him in the meantime and Springer later recruited Wilkos to substitute for him each Monday, calling him "the obvious choice."[11]

Beyond Springer, he has made cameo appearances on the MLB Network. He's also appeared on TV series Between Brothers, The Wayans Bros. and in the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me as a security guard for Jerry Springer.[12]

The Steve Wilkos Show[edit]

Wilkos before a show-taping in 2011.

In January 2007, NBC Universal Television officially announced that Wilkos would host a talk show of his own based at NBC Tower in Chicago. The self-titled program premiered on September 10, 2007 and received high ratings.[13] Steve is known for his abrasive approach to solving disputes.

Wilkos expressed disapproval with the first season of the talk show, as he reflected: "All I did was yell at everybody and throw people off the stage. There was no level of emotion -- just hardcore yelling." Wilkos said this was how he was produced by his original executive producer, but that his wife encouraged him to be himself and go with his "gut."[14]

Personal life[edit]

He married his wife Rachelle Consiglio, the executive producer for Springer as well as his own show, in 2000. They have two children.[2][15][16] They live in Fairfield County, Connecticut.[17]

On January 21, 2018, Wilkos was involved in a rollover crash near his home and was charged with drunk driving. He has asked a judge for an alternative punishment which would result in charges being dismissed upon completion of an education and treatment program.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b c Weller, Sam (1998-01-12). "Talk Toughs". Weekly Wire. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  2. ^ a b Lipton, Michael A. (May 4, 1998). "Brawlbuster". People. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ "ANNA PELIKAN's Obituary on Chicago Tribune". Chicago Tribune. 
  4. ^ The Steve Wilkos Show (1 January 2018). "What Does Jessica Really Know!?! (The Steve Wilkos Show)" – via YouTube. 
  5. ^ "Former Marine has his own network T.V. show". 
  6. ^ "Marine Veteran Steve Wilkos: How He Went From the Chicago PD to His Own Daytime TV Show". 4 May 2017. 
  7. ^ Graham, Colin (1999). "Steve's Interview". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  8. ^ Hiatt, Brian (2002-03-29). "ABC Cancels "Once and Again"". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  9. ^ MCW Pro Wrestling (29 October 2007). "MCW Steve Wilkos & Gillberg Vs. Dino Divine & Chad Bowman" – via YouTube. 
  10. ^ "Vivienne on Check Please!". Toyus Interruptus. 2005-10-20. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  11. ^ Duca, Lauren (November 23, 2016). "The Passion of Steve Wilkos: From 'Jerry Springer' Muscle to Daytime TV Healer". Complex. 
  12. ^ "About Steve Wilkos". WGN-TV. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  13. ^ Pursell, Chris (2007-09-11). "'TMZ,' 'Wilkos' Have Strong Debuts in Syndication". TV Week. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  14. ^ Skladany, Joey (February 12, 2015). "Steve Wilkos Gets in Touch with His Softer Side". Zimbio. 
  15. ^ Nunn, Emily (August 12, 2005). "The zookeeper". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ Rubino, Lindsay (March 19, 2012). "Ringmaster Balances 'Springer,' 'Wilkos' in the Daytime Circus". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  17. ^ Fillo, Maryellen (March 12, 2010). "Steve Wilkos and Rachelle Wilkos Show Off Their Home". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Steve Wilkos asks judge for leniency in DUI case". News 12 Connecticut. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  19. ^ Nickerson, John. "Wilkos applies for diversionary program for drunk driving charge". Stamford Advocate. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 

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