Who is Sally Jessy Raphael?

Sally Lowenthal – known better as Sally Jessy Raphael, a combination of her father’s ancestral name and her mother’s maiden name – was born in Easton, Pennsylvania USA, on 25 February 1935 – her zodiac sign is Pisces, and she holds American nationality. She’s a retired tabloid talk-show host, and is perhaps still known best for having hosted her own “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show”.

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Sally’s today retired, leading an apparently peaceful life in Miami, Florida.

Happy Friday, kiddies! Hope everyone has something fun planned! 😛

Posted by Sally Jessy Raphael on Friday, April 12, 2019

Early life and education

Sally was raised in Easton alongside her younger brother Steven Lowenthal, by their mother Zelda Lowenthal, also known as Dede Lowry, who ran an art gallery, and their father Jesse Lowenthal who worked in rum exporting. The family also spent some time living in San Juan, Puerto Rico because of Jesse’s job.

Sally was interested in various activities while attending Easton Area High School, and initially wanted to become an actress and comedienne; she was a member of the school’s drama club, and could’ve been seen appearing in numerous plays performed at the school.

Upon matriculating in 1953, Sally moved to Scarsdale, New York State to work at the radio station WFAS, in charge of reading the news for high school students.

She then moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University, but soon transferred to the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1958.

She also practiced acting at Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.

Career as a journalist

Upon receiving her degree, Sally was employed at both United Press International and Associated Press, mostly thanks to her ability to speak both Spanish and English fluently; she was hired as a news correspondent, and was in charge of covering Central America.

She mostly worked in Puerto Rico during her career beginnings, and one of her jobs was hosting a cooking show.

It was also in Puerto Rico that Sally met her second husband, producer and radio station manager Karl Soderlund, and after Karl was fired, the two moved to Miami, Florida together.

It was only in the ‘80s that Sally began attracting attention, and she has revealed that it wasn’t easy for her to succeed in the field of broadcasting. She worked at 24 stations and was let go from 18 of these, while she made her breakthrough in the first half of the ‘80s, when invited to do a show for the New York City radio station WMCA.

Her two successful talk-shows

Upon moving to Miami, Sally’s husband Karl became her manager, and helped her run her first show, which aired from November 1981 to 1987, distributed by NBC Talknet.

Sally became famous after she began hosting her radio “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show”, which was eventually shortened to ‘Sally’. It began airing on 17 October 1983, and continued until 24 May 2002. Sally initially wanted it to be a political show, but changed her mind right before she was about to go live for the first time, and went on to discuss various subjects and give her listeners advice on a number of topics, including relationships and marriages. The show ended up being syndicated to more than 200 radio stations.

The American media personality Phillip John ‘Phil’ Donahue heard Sally’s talk-show, and encouraged her to try hosting TV talk-shows too.

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In October 1983, Sally got to host her own “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show” on the TV network KSDK-TV, and although it was only a half-hour long, it marked the beginning of her career as a TV talk-show host.

In 2002, Sally’s show was cancelled following a large drop in ratings, but the same year saw her named amongst the 25 Greatest Television Talk Show Hosts of All Time (#11) and the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time (#5) by “Talkers Magazine”.

Between 2005 and 2008, Sally hosted the radio show “Sally Jessy Raphael on Talknet”, and on 10 November 2010, she made a guest appearance in the talk-show “The Oprah Winfrey Show”.

She has since been staying away from the media’s attention.

Love life and husband

Sally was 18 years old when she exchanged vows with Andrew Vladimir, in a private ceremony attended by only the closest of their friends and family members. It’s believed that the two met while they were both attending Easton Area High School, and Sally went on to give birth to their daughters Allison and Andrea, but then divorced in 1958, while they now also have two grandchildren Kyle and Max. Their daughter Allison died on 2 February 1992, after having overdosed on prescribed drugs.

In 1962, Sally exchanged vows with her second husband Karl Soderlund, and not long after that, she gave birth to their son Jason. The marriage lasted until Karl passed away in 2020.

As of March 2022, Sally seems to be single, has been married twice, and has two daughters with her first husband Andrew Vladimir, and a son with her second husband Karl Soderlund.

Hobbies and other interests

Sally was once passionate about travelling, and her career had taken her all around the US, while she also travelled to various European and Asian countries; her dream travel destination is still Barcelona, Spain.

Sally’s a philanthropist, and has donated money to many charity organizations working with war veterans and underprivileged children, while she’s apparently also donated to animal shelters.

She loves to read books in her spare time – her favorite author is Paulo Coelho, while some of her  favorite books include “The Alchemist”, “Eleven Minutes” and “Manual of the Warrior of Light”.

She’s also a fan of Hollywood, and her favorite actor and actress are George Clooney and Anne Hathaway, while a couple of her favorite films include “Good Night, and Good Luck”, “Ocean’s Eleven” and “One Day”.

Age, height and net worth

Sally’s age is 87. She has long orange hair and brown eyes, her height is 5ft 3ins (1.6m) and she weighs around 120lbs (55kgs).

As of March 2022, Sally’s net worth is estimated at more than $40 million.


Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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