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Phillip Calvin McGraw (born September 1, 1950), also known as Dr. Phil, is an American television personality, author and the host of the television show Dr. Phil. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, but ceased renewing his license to practice psychological therapy in 2006. McGraw rose to fame with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s. Oprah Winfrey then helped McGraw launch his own program, Dr. Phil, in September 2002. The show is formatted as an advice show. In October 2003, he launched the Dr. Phil Foundation, which funds organizations that help disadvantaged families and children. == Early life and education == McGraw was born in Vinita, Oklahoma, on September 1, 1950, the son of Joseph J. McGraw Jr. and his wife, Anne Geraldine "Jerry" (née Stevens). He grew up with two older sisters, Deana and Donna, and younger sister Brenda in the oilfields of North Texas where his father was an equipment supplier. McGraw moved to Kansas with his father as his father pursued his lifelong goal of becoming a psychologist. There he attended Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He played linebacker on the high school football team and in 1968 earned a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa, where he played middle linebacker under coach Glenn Dobbs. He later transferred to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. McGraw graduated in 1975 from Midwestern State University with a B.A. in psychology. He went on to earn an M.A. in experimental psychology in 1976, and a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology in 1979 at the University of North Texas, where his dissertation was titled "Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Psychological Intervention." He did a year of post-doctoral training in Forensic Psychology from the Wilmington Institute. McGraw's PhD advisor was Dr. Frank Lawlis, who later became the primary contributing psychologist for the Dr. Phil television show. == Early career == After obtaining his doctorate, McGraw rejoined his father in Wichita Falls, Texas, where the elder McGraw had established his private psychology practice.In 1985, McGraw and his father partnered with Thelma Box, a Texas businesswoman, in presenting "Pathways" seminars, "experience-based training which allows individuals to achieve and create their own results." During Pathways McGraw developed some of the tools he has presented in his books and demonstrated on his television show. Six years after joining Box, in October 1991 McGraw sold his share in the company for $325,000. == Courtroom Sciences, Inc == In 1990, McGraw co-founded Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI) with lawyer Gary Dobbs. CSI is a trial consulting firm which provides services in US litigation psychology, jury selection, trial consulting, witness training, and depositions. CSI has advised top trial lawyers, every major airline in the world, and dozens of Fortune 500 companies. McGraw is no longer an officer or director of the company.The TV show Bull is based on McGraw's experience as a trial consultant, and he is credited as one of the creators of the series.McGraw began working with Oprah Winfrey through CSI. == Television career == === Oprah Winfrey and the Dr. Phil show === In 1995, Oprah Winfrey hired McGraw's legal consulting firm CSI to prepare her for the Amarillo Texas beef trial. Winfrey was so impressed with McGraw that she thanked him for her victory in that case, which ended in 1998. Soon after, she invited him to appear on her show. His appearance proved so successful that he began appearing weekly as a relationship and life strategy expert on Tuesdays starting in April 1998.In September 2002, McGraw formed Peteski Productions and launched his own syndicated daily television show, Dr. Phil, produced by Winfrey's Harpo Studios. Dr. Phil is an advice show, in which McGraw tackles a different topic on each show, offering advice to his guests. He signed a five-year extension of his syndication deal with his show's distributors, King World Productions, Inc. The deal was to pay McGraw $15 million a year and keep the show in production through the 2013–2014 television season.On May 21, 2007 the Dr. Phil Show was ranked 4th by Nielsen Media Research, with 6.69 million viewers. About one year later, on May 12, 2008 the show was ranked 6th with 5.69 million viewers. In May 2008 the only talk show more popular than Dr. Phil was The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2007 McGraw was 30th on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. On December 11, 2018 Dr. Phil was the top syndicated show with a "2.9 live-plus-same-day" national Nielsen rating, ranking first among talk shows for the 117th consecutive week. His ranking improved, and by 2020 he was in the 22nd spot on the same Forbes list with earnings of $65.5 million. === Spin-off shows === In 2005, Jay McGraw and Phil McGraw formed Stage 29 Productions, and a week later, announced a new show called Moochers (similar to ABC's Kicked Out). Ultimately, the show was not produced. In 2006, the Dr. Phil House (similar to CBS's Big Brother) began airing as part of the Dr. Phil television show. Following a protest by neighbors, the house in Los Angeles was shut down, and production resumed on a sound stage on a studio back lot.Stage 29 launched Decision House in September 2007. It was executive produced by Jay McGraw. featured Judge Lynn Toler (from Divorce Court) on MyNetworkTV. The show produced 13 episodes during one season and ran until May 24, 2008.Late in 2007, McGraw began promoting his 2008 Dr. Phil Show extension, The Doctors. The show is hosted by television personality and ER physician Travis Stork (The Bachelor). Other experts scheduled to appear include various personalities who have appeared on the Dr. Phil show over the years, such as Lisa Masterson, an obstetrician/gynecologist; Andrew Ordon, a plastic surgeon; and Jim Sears, a pediatrician. McGraw's eldest son, Jay McGraw,was executive producer of the show. The Doctors debuted on September 8, 2008, and, as of November 10, 2008, had a 2.0 rating. The show was renewed for its 12th season in 2019.The Doctors launched in 2008. The show won a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Talk Show/Informative in 2010 and was nominated 8 times between 2009 and 2013.Daily Mail TV, executive produced by Phil and Jay McGraw along with producers Martin Clarke, Carla Pennington, and Jeffrey Wilson, won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding News Program in 2019. == Writing career == In 1999, McGraw published his first best-selling book, Life Strategies. In the next six years, McGraw published three additional best-selling relationship books, along with workbooks to complement them. === Selected works === == Controversies and lawsuits == === Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (1988) === On October 21, 1988, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists determined that McGraw had hired a former patient for "part-time temporary employment". The board cited "a possible failure to provide proper separation between termination of therapy and the initiation of employment", issued a letter of reprimand and imposed administrative penalties. McGraw fulfilled all terms of the board's requirements, and the board closed its complaint file in June 1990. === Licensing (1989) === McGraw no longer holds a license to practice psychology of any kind in Texas or any other state in the United States. McGraw has been involved in several controversies which put his license to practice at risk. He was brought up on ethics charges for having an inappropriate non-physical relationship with a patient in Texas in January 1989 and had a formal criminal complaint filed against him in California in 2008 for practicing psychology without a professional license or certification and violating doctor-patient confidentiality in connection with an incident with Britney Spears in 2008.McGraw is shown to have voluntarily surrendered his Texas license in 2006, and he has never held a license to practice psychology in any other state, including California, since. This has led several leading clinical psychologists in California to question whether his program violates the law by offering the services of a psychologist, despite the paperwork that his production company asks guests to sign stating that they are only receiving advice on the program. === Weight loss products (2003) === In 2003, McGraw lent his name and image to a line of nutritional supplements, including vitamin packets, meal replacement drinks, and power bars under the brand name Shape Up, under a licensing agreement with CSA Nutraceuticals, a Texas start-up. The deal stipulated that a certain percentage of sales would be given to the Dr. Phil Foundation, a Dallas charity that works on issues like childhood obesity. Facing a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Shape Up's claims, McGraw pulled his supplements off the market in March 2004, and the FTC dropped its probe. In October 2005, three people who used McGraw's products declared an intent to file a class action lawsuit against him, claiming that although the supplements cost $120 per month they did not stimulate weight loss. McGraw settled the suit in September 2006 for $10.5 million. Some of the settlement ($6 million) was set aside to be paid to plaintiffs in the form of Amway (Quixtar) brand Nutrilite vitamins. === The Making of Dr. Phil unauthorized biography (2003) === The Making of Dr. Phil is an unauthorized biography by Sophia Dembling, a reporter from The Dallas Morning News, and Lisa Gutierrez, a reporter from The Kansas City Star. The book probes McGraw's history, with interviews of his childhood friends and former classmates. The book alleges that McGraw used unethical business practices in a gym business and abused his first wife and his staff. The book received no promotional help from McGraw or his associates.
McGraw married his first wife, an ex-cheerleader and homecoming queen named Debbie Higgins McCall, in 1970, when he was 20 years old. According to her, McGraw was domineering and would not allow her to participate in the family business. She claimed that she was confined to domestic duties and instructed to begin lifting weights to improve her bustline.During the process of annulling the marriage in 1973, McGraw met and began dating Robin Jo Jameson, whom he married in 1976. The couple have two children together, Jay McGraw and Jordan McGraw.McGraw is also a private pilot, with an instrument rating, flying single-engine airplanes. McGraw has identified himself as a Christian.
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