Dr Phil – What makes him one of the highest paid celebrities in the world

Phillip Calvin “Phil” McGraw popularly known as ‘Dr Phil’ is a famous American television personality, author and psychologist. He is best known as a host of the show “Dr Phil” which was first broadcast’ in the year 2002.In the year 1990, Phil appeared in “The Oprah Winfrey Show” which helped him to earn celebrity status.  In 2015, Forbes gave him the 15th spot in its list of highest earning celebrity in the world.

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Early life and background

McGraw was born on 1st September 1950 in Vinita, Oklahoma, United States Of America. His father, Joseph J. “Joe” McGraw Jr, was an equipment supplier in the oilfields of North Texas. His mother, Anne Geraldine “Jerry” was a home maker. His has two elder sisters and a younger sister. Phil studied in Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He received a football scholarship for University of Tulsa and played under Coach Glenn Dobbs. He attended Midwestern State University and earned a B.A in psychology in 1975. Thereafter, he joined the University of North Texas and earned a M.A in experimental psychology in 1976 and a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology in 1979.


After completing his education, Phil joined his father in Wichita Falls, Texas where his father established his private practice for psychology. In the year 1983, Phil along with his father collaborated with Thelma Box, a successful business woman in Texas to organize seminars called “Pathways”. These seminars deal extensively with developing individuals’ skills to create and achieve own goals.

In 1990, McGraw co-founded the trial consulting firm called Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI) along with lawyer Gary Dobbs. Through this firm, McGraw was introduced to Oprah Winfrey who later invited Phil to appear in her show. In September 2002, Phil McGraw started his own production house “ Peteski Productions” and launched his own show “Dr. Phil”. The show was produced by Winfrey’s “Harpo Studios”.

In 2003, McGraw started selling weight loss products such as shakes, energy bars, and supplements under the brand name “Shape It Up, Woo, Woo!”. He used to promote these products along with his sisters Brenda and Deana and with nephew Tony. But later faced controversy due to ineffectiveness of the products. Later, he and his son Jay McGraw established “Stage 29 Productions” and launched many unsuccessful shows.

Towards the end of the year 2007, Phil shifted his focus to the promotion of his show called “The Doctors” which was the extension of 2008 Dr. Phil Show. Apart from this, he has authored best sellers books like Life Strategies and Family First. In addition to this he acted in many television shows like Frasier, Sesame Street, Scary Movie 4, Madea Goes to Jail, Hannah Montana, WWE Raw etc.

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dr phil photo


Phil McGraw has faced many controversies in his career. In 2006, McGraw’s name was included as a co-defendant in a legal suit  in relation with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Again in January 2008, Phil earned lot of criticism for visiting Britney Spears in the hospital. He was also sued by Thomas Riccio who held him responsible for taping the Las Vegas robbery which subsequently led to the conviction of OJ Simpson. Also his advices and therapies were always criticized by many fellow psychotherapists and lay man.

Wife and Children

dr phil wife robin

dr phil wife robin picture

In 1970, when he was just 20 years old, he married Debbie Higgins McCall. But later they divorced. Currently he is married to Robin Jo Jameson. The couple has 2 kids namely Jay and Jordan.

Dr Phil – Net Worth and Salary

Phil McGraw has a net worth of $280 million. He earns an annual salary of $77 million. He is usually among the top 20 highest paid celebrities in the world.


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