The Love Pours in For Dr. Joy Browne

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Our story of the passing of syndicated radio host Dr. Joy Browne yesterday was one of our biggest page visits of all time. We also received many comments from the industry – and her listeners – about how loved she was. Her sister, who was on the phone with Joy at the time she passed away, also sent along this message to us…

“Your comments and your stories are such a comfort to me and expand even my own awareness of her vast scope of influence, impact, and inspiration to others. My heart is full of “joy” right now! Thank you! – (Joy’s sister)”

Dr. Joy Browne’s sister posted on Facebook, Tuesday, that the talk show host died Saturday. Alannah Sinclaire said her sister, “left her physical body on Saturday afternoon, August 27, 2016. She died suddenly, and seemingly without pain. I was actually on the phone with her chatting about movie reviews, recipes, and favorite memories from a recent birthday party for our 95-year-old mom, when the phone suddenly disconnected; her heart had stopped as well.”

Buckley Broadcasting President & CEO Joe Bilotta was good friends with Joy and shared this comment with us. “We were setting up the WOR Radio Network and gathering a great cast of legendary broadcasters to anchor the syndication.  All of the talent was going to be on the New York station as well as the Network.  Holding down a key slot was one Joy Browne, Dr. Joy to her local and national audience.  A unique talent, absorbed in her passion to help others, all of the time…Not only on the radio, but all she came in contact with. We at WOR were together for over 20 years.  In all that time she was consistent in her enthusiastic approach to life.  Her interactions with employees, audience and advertisers never varied.  She was positive, funny, charming and very smart. The genre of broadcaster that Joy represented seems to be a shrinking lot. Fortunately for all who came in contact with her, we were blessed to witness an era of excellence in spoken-word radio. You will be missed Joy, Rest in Peace.”

Dr. Joy’s website says her show, which was syndicated by Genesis Communications, was the

Radio Ink Chairman Eric Rhoads and Dr. Joy at a Forecast reception in December 2011.
Radio Ink Chairman Eric Rhoads and Dr. Joy at a Forecast reception in December 2011.

longest-running of its kind in syndication, and was still airing on over 100 stations across the country.

Executive Producer for Radio at CBS News Charlie Kaye tweeted that Dr. Joy was 71.

In an interview with Radio Ink Publisher Deborah Parenti back in 2011, Dr. Joy spoke about how she subscribed to the “stupid and cheerful” philosophy on life. “I am a great fan of “stupid and cheerful.” If someone says something negative, instead of responding, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you said that,” turn it around. Try saying, “It’s so helpful to have somebody give me feedback.” If you just take the superficial approach to things that may be hurtful or insulting, it makes the other person do the heavy lifting. If they really want to criticize, they are going to have to do more work. So if you respond to, “Gee, you look tired,” with “It’s because I have too much to do here,” you took on all of the work. If someone is trying to insult you, let them do the work. And if that wasn’t their intention, a negative reply just might have cost you an ally. Keep your response neutral, “simple and stupid!”

Dr. Joy  won numerous awards for her work, including the American Psychological Associations President’s Award, the Talkers magazine award for Best Female Talk Show Host, #10 on the list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time, and has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Talk Show Hosts. She has been singled out for News/Talk National Personality of the Year as well as Syndicated Talk Show of the Year by Radio & Records magazine every year since the list was formed.

62 COMMENTS

  1. Dr. Joy always had the best advice! I still use her advice in many parts of my daily life and with the people I deal with. She was an amazing lady. Really wish we had more Joy’s!

  2. Searching again for Dr. Joy’s show, I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of her untimely passing.
    The first few times I tuned in to Dr. Joy, I thought, “what BS. No way can she cut to the chase and drill into someone’s life so fast”, when she would “jump” to conclusions for things the caller hadn’t even said out loud.
    But, I never heard her hit it wrong. And I quickly became awed by her tremendous gifts, and I joined her throngs of avid listeners. During many late night highway trips, I was educated, entertained, and kept awake; and, gained a better understanding of the mysteries of peoples’ ways and relationships.
    We are all so much better and wiser for having crossed paths. Thank you, Dr. Joy, you are truly missed. My heartfelt condolences to sister Alannah and family.

  3. October 2017 & I just now found out 🙁
    I kept asking my “Alexa” to find The Dr. Joy Brown Show for me on “Tune In” but the same episode kept coming on.
    This of course made me sad to find out about a comforting voice in my life had passed on.
    Rest In Peace & Love Dr. Joy, Aloha

  4. I just found out today that Dr. Joy passed away over a year ago. I can’t believe it! I hadn’t heard her on my local radio station for a long time but I thought they had just foolishly dropped her show. She has been in a way part of my life for so many years I thought she would just always be there. I feel so sad. I wish I had called her and told her how much she meant to me. I had just been thinking about her stupid and cheerful philosophy which is what made me Google her today. My condolences to her family, especially to her mother and daughter that she spoke of often on her shows.

  5. Just found out today that Dr Joy passed away suddenly last August, just can’t believe it. My radio station had stopped airing her a couple of years ago but I could still catch the odd broadcast at night until recently. I had no idea she had passed, what a shock, so sad. I thought, as I’m sure she did as well she would live well into her 90’s like her mother, you just never know!

  6. I called Dr. Joy a couple of times. She was so nice to talk to. I was shocked like everyone else of her passing. RIP Dr. Joy.

  7. I called Dr. Joy a couple of times. She was so nice to talk to. I was shocked like everyone else to hear that she passed away. Miss hearing your voice. RIP

  8. Joy was one of a kind. I had the honor of having her as a best friend for over 20 years. I was lucky enough to have been invited by her to some of her play and movie previews (she was doing reviews for her radio program). We shared many great times together and her death was a major loss to me. She was my go to person whenever I was having a problem. I would call her and know that the advice I would get would help me through my problem. I can’t believe that my savior is gone. As a friend she was as honest, charming, intelligent and caring as she was during her programs. It is now many months since she left us and I still am having difficulty coping with this fact.

    May you RIP.

  9. There is a Facebook page “Dr. Joy Browne listeners”, we have podcasts there in the pinned post. If anyone needs her you will find her old shows there.
    I miss her so very much. She was an amazing woman.

  10. Unbelievable !!! Went through initial grief several years ago when she was dropped from New York’s WOR. Have been missing her greatly since. What a brilliant, humane person.

    • I know I lost track of her when my radio station switched to a sports format. I didn’t realize she died last august. Sad

  11. I just found out today, January 24, 2017 (!) that Dr. Joy Browne passed away. She will be missed. She helped many people.

  12. I just found out about Dr. Joy Browne’s death. I’ve been going through the podcasts and has had difficulty downloading. Just started up again over the holidays and something told me to google how old
    she was. Then I read how she died. Thought that was a misprint since I just finished listening to a podcast where they talked about a case where someone died speaking to his sister on the phone. Dr. Joy will truly be missed. I’ve never called in….but I learned a lot just by listening. The one year rule, potty training and of course how to make frozen yogurt! You brought us all Joy!

  13. I have been late to find out that Dr. Joy passed in August. I am so shocked. I just kept saying “No, No , I can’t be true”. I listened to her for 20+ years. I taught Psychology and often used things I heard on her show with my students. Her death has left a huge void in this world.

  14. I am so saddened to hear of her passing. I’ve listened to her for so many years. I listened to her at night on her podcasts to fall asleep. Loved hearing all the topics she spoke about. She was one of a kind No one else can fill her shoes..RIP Dr. Joy…

  15. I was deeply saddened to hear of Dr Joy’s passing. I loved her and respected her. I listened to her for many years and was comforted during the one call I had made and will never forget how she helped me. She was compatiornate, humorous and I loved to her show. Thank you
    Dr Joy Brown for everything you gave us all these years.
    My she rest in peace.

  16. Dr. Joy will be greatly missed. Her voice gave me so much comfort. I was a faithful listener for more than 20 years. I am suffering from this unexpected void.

    • I did, as well. She was so health conscience. I am in disbelief and heartbreak. I think she has been such an influence on me every day for 30+ years, that I have cried for week upon losing her. She was the sanity in this, that is my crazy world.

    • I did, as well. She was so health conscience. I am in disbelief and heartbreak. I think she has been such an influence on me every day for 30+ years, that I have cried for week upon losing her. She was the sanity in this, that is my crazy world.

  17. I felt like family listening to Dr Joy Browne was a highlight of my day…I feel sad I never got to tell her how much her life impacted mine. Til we meet finally I will do “stupid & cheerful”

  18. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but I personally have not heard or seen any so-called “main stream” news source reporting the death of Dr. Joy Browne. How disrespectful to her. She was a classy lady and well known radio personality. I don’t get it.

  19. There is no doubt that Dr. Joy left stepping stones for those who want to make a difference for our world. She touched so many lives with her off-the-cuff jokes and contagious smile. We were all lucky to have her special light and authentic caring. She is missed already.

  20. Nice to see all the kudos for a passing broadcaster.
    I didn’t care for Joy on the air. I guess her fans were primarily east and west coast women since I thought her general tone was liberal feminist with the usual Jewish matron bluntness that is found in large cities, and accepted there, but not as popular in flyover country. I respect her success and approach to life’s problems.

  21. Listening to her voice and broadcasts brought much peace into my life. I started listening to her in 1995 and probably listened every weekday until about a year (2015) or so ago when our affiliate stopped airing her show at the usual time slot. Wow…20 years of DR. Joy!
    Whenever I had a tough medical procedure or a dental appointment, I would put her call in talk show on my radio and concentrate on her show instead of whatever was going on.
    I was blessed to see her live audience show in Windsor ON in late 1990’s. She was a great light in our world and I will miss her very much.

  22. So very saddened by the news of Dr. Joy Browne’s passing. She was such a sweet lady and will be terribly missed by all. RIP JOY…..❤️

  23. I so enjoyed listening to her and loved the way she always lifted her callers up instead of demeaning them or berating them. That is why I felt she was just the absolute best ever radio talk psychologist with a zest for life and for all her callers. Her square breathing technique has helped me through a number of stressful times. RIP Dr Joy – you will be missed.

  24. Joy listened, Joy helped with answers, Joy made the world a better place for all who took her advice and acted on it. Joy’s light will be missed in our lives.

  25. I love to listen to her and i call her and she let me sing a song on the radio. Will never forget that… Rest in Peace… ALways in my heart for all the help you given me and everyone else…

    Gloria Pagano

  26. My mom and I would frequently talk about how Dr. Joy’s smart, practical advice always seemed so on-target. She also had a great way to get any meandering caller, who would waste time beating around the bush, to cut to the chase: “What’s your question?” she would say in a polite but firm way.

    She didn’t always give the advice that a caller wanted to hear, but she was honest and I bet she was right 99% of the time, too. RIP, Dr. Joy.

  27. Shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Joy’s sudden passing. She literally touched the hearts of millions–her faithful fans, station sponsors & WOR Radio brothers and sisters have memories of Joy that will last a lifetime…we truly loved her!!

    Dr. Joy was indeed a shining star on Broadway–‘1440 & 111’ as well as her off-broadway gig. YES, she was fabulous!!!

    Thanks for the memories…and, of course, the advice!:)
    Rest in Peace, Cookie!
    ~Dawn xo

  28. I loved listening to her. She was absolutely brilliant to the core. I learned so much from her. I especially loved the “cheerful & stupid” line; I myself used it many times over. So shocked to hear this sad news. May G-D comfort the family and may she rest in peace knowing that she accomplished a tremendous amount in her lifetime by helping multitudes of people with her keen advice. Joy, you will be sorely missed,,,,,

  29. Your comments and your stories are such a comfort to me and expand even my own awareness of her vast scope of influence, impact, and inspiration to others. My heart is full of “joy” right now! Thank you! – (Joy’s sister)

    • I miss Dr Joy so very much. She changed my perspective and I believe changed my life for the better. So sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. ❤️

  30. So sorry to hear this. I wanted to meet her in person and tell her that her advice raised my triplet children to be wonderful young adults. She was so wise and so practical. Almost every day I face a situation where I think to myself “WWJBS” (what would Joy Browne say?)

  31. Sending my heartfelt condolences to Dr. Joy’s family. Dr. Joy sure made many positive contributions during her time on earth… helping so many callers, and countless listeners. I smile… thinking of the time I met her during a station visit. She arrived, ready to host a group of sponsors, only to discover a large hole in stockings, right at her knee. When all attempts at covering it failed, we hopped in my car to find replacement stockings. Joy was warm and kind, asking me about myself as we drove. When she heard I was newly divorced, she implored me to follow her one-year-rule! I was not so sure, but of course, Dr. Joy was right on! I love telling that story, and repeating her wise counsel! RIP Dr. Joy!

  32. I always enjoyed listening to Dr. Joy. Her candor was so honest and to the point and sensible. She will be surely missed. And she was way too young to die. I’ll miss you Joy Brown.

  33. I was saddened and quite shocked to learn yesterday of the sudden passing of Dr. Joy Browne. When I worked at the WOR Radio Network in the late 90s….my job in affiliate relations was to syndicate her show to stations around the country and they loved her. She was extremely bright, quick witted, compassionate towards her listeners( offering wonderful advice and counsel) and had a wonderful sense of humor. Her bio on the network’s website described her “as a cross between Sigmund Freud and Cher” (those who knew her would agree).

    My favoite Dr. Joy story has me entering the building at 1440 Broadway (the former home of WOR and the Network) by the side door. Here comes Dr. Joy flapping her arms motioning me to hold the door open for her….in typical Rapiti style I said to her…”of course Dr. Joy I would be honored to hold the door for a big star like you”…and she then said “cut the shit Rapiti I just got my nails done”.

    My deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues….may she rest in peace….she was truly a unique and one-of-a-kind radio original.

    • LOL!! Your sharing this story about my sissy made my day!! Thank you for putting a smile on my face and others, as that is what Joy would have wanted too! Big hugs from Alannah

  34. My heartfelt condolences to Joy’s family and friends. I’m so sorry to hear of her passing, but grateful to G-d above for allowing her such a peaceful transition. She was a great gift to all of us here on earth, who tuned into her programs over the years. What a joy she was, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to enjoy her show, along with my husband, for so many years.

  35. Wow..This hit me hard this morning. She was an amazing listen and I learned so much about sharpening my ‘people instincts’ from her. The below is a passage from a chapter in my book called, “The Questionator”. R.I.P. to one of my true inspirations, Dr. Joy Browne.

    “The most brilliant master of the art of the question is NY radio therapist/talk show host, Dr. Joy Browne. I am in awe of how she can take a call from someone she’s never met, listen for a few minutes to their version of the story, ask a few very direct (and very no-nonsense) personal questions, then get to the heart of the issue. She can accomplish more in five minutes on the phone than many therapists would after several 40 minute office sessions with the same patient!”

  36. I had the fortune of accidentally sitting next to Joy at a fundraising dinner I was attending for my company. She was such a delight. I never had so much fun at a corporate function. We shared many laughs and “girl stories”.
    She was a lively spirit who touched many. She will be missed!

  37. I remember her love of chocolate, Proseco, the Staten Island Ferry, the Theatre and movies, which she spoke often of on her show. And who could not forget her one-year rule.
    Her 911 memorial shows were comforting, and helped get me through that day.
    I was just recently listening to her August 26th Podcast, where she spoke to a listener about dreams and death…who knew.
    Dr. Joy I will miss you, you helped so many with your Foundations, your stories and wit.
    God speed, angel.

  38. So sorry to hear of her passing. She was truly a light. I loved listening to her. The way she helped others influenced my personal relationships.

  39. So sorry to to hear about Dr. Joy. I was an avid listener and marveled at her ability to listen to her callers and be able to assess where ever they were in their life’s journey and come up with a solution to whatever difficulty they were facing. She did that with great compassion and will be missed. Rear in peace Joy.

  40. What a terrible loss her untimely passing is to so many. Her intelligence, insight and ability to quickly get to the root of people’s issues is irreplacable. She brought so much to her radio shows, she truly
    was unique and contributed so much to this world.

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