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Steve Harvey Biography

Discover more about comedian, actor and talk show host Steve Harvey


Talk show host Steve Harvey
Jason Kempin / Staff / Getty Images

Born in Welch, W.V., as Broderick Steven Harvey on Jan. 17, 1957, Steve Harvey is best known as a stand-up comedian (one of The Original Kings of Comedy) and film and television actor.

Though born in West Virginia as the son of a coal miner, Harvey grew-up in Cleveland, Ohio, along the shores of the Lake Erie. He attended Glenville High School - the same high school from which Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, creators of Superman, graduated. From there, he enrolled at nearby Kent State University, transferring to West Virginia University.

The future funnyman started his post college career as both a mail carrier and insurance salesman before taking a chance at stand-up comedy. He hit the stage at Hilarities Comedy Club in Cleveland in 1985, quickly making a name for himself on the comedy circuit. One report suggests Harvey clocked more than 120,000 miles behind the wheel while making tour stops throughout Canada and the U.S.

Stage to Screen
His near win in a national comedy contest paved the way to his first television appearance, as host of Showtime at the Apollo. Harvey would hang on as the popular host for a number of years before leaping to primetime as co-star of the ABC sit-com Me and the Boys. But he's better known for his turn on the self-titled sit-com The Steve Harvey Show.

The show finds Harvey playing Steve Hightower, a washed up musician who switches careers and becomes the vice principal of a Chicago high school. Friend and fellow comedian Cedric the Entertainer stars as his best friend and football coach Cedric Robinson. The show ran for six seasons on the WB.

During the show's run, Harvey took time to tour with Cedric the Entertainer and comedians D.L. Hughley and Bernie Mac. Together, they were known as The Original Kings of Comedy, selling out venues around the country. The tour was so popular, director Spike Lee filmed two shows in North Carolina to create the mega-hit documentary that shares the tour name.

After The Steve Harvey Show, Harvey returned to television with the variety program, Steve Harvey's Big Time Challenge, which lasted two seasons. Today, he serves as host of the Family Feud game show.

Talk Show Time
Harvey's latest television venture, a "comedy show with talk show elements," that will borrow from the comedian's popular series of relationship books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. It will focus on relationships, parenting, office politics, health and body, and more.

The transition should be a smooth one for Harvey. He's already the host of the popular radio program The Steve Harvey Morning Show. The syndicated program focuses on many of the same topics Harvey hopes to transition to television.

If Harvey brings his honest opinion to the program - and there's nothing to suggest he won't - the show could be must-see television. After all, it was Harvey who, in 2009, told viewers of The Tyra Banks Show that women shouldn't date atheist men. He suggested that someone with an atheistic view would have no "moral barometer." Harvey solidified his viewpoint when he told Joy Behar the same thing while Behar was substitute hosting Larry King Live.

Harvey's talk show premieres in 2012.

Fun Facts

  • Harvey is the father of four through two marriages. He has two ex-wives and one current spouse, Marjorie Bridges Harvey. The couple was married in 2007.
  • He lives in Atlanta.
  • Is the author of a number of successful relationship books, including Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment.
  • Has acted in a number of films, including Racing Stripes, Madea Goes to Jail, and a bit part in Cliffhanger.
  • Hosted the Disney Dreamers Academy in 2008, which saw more than 100 high school students to Walt Disney World to take part in a "personal and professional enrichment event."
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