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Robin Quivers Biography

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Birth Name: Robin Quivers
Born: 08/08/1952
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Born Robin Ophelia Quivers on Aug. 8, 1952 in Pikesville, MD, she was the daughter of steelworker Charles Quivers, Sr., and his wife, Louise. Raised in Baltimore's predominately black neighborhood of Pimlico, she described her formative years as uneventful, though with a terrible secret: Quivers' father molested her during her preteen years. She found solace in television, drawing inspiration from medical shows like "Ben Casey" (ABC, 1961-66), which spurred her to pursue a career as a nurse. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Quivers' first job was in the shock trauma facility at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System, which proved to be a grueling experience due to the level of intensive care cases.

Eager to find a new career direction, she enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1975, where she was quickly promoted to First Lieutenant after six months of service. Quivers would eventually attain the rank of Captain before her discharge in 1978, but remained a member of the Air Force Reserve for the better part of the next two decades. During this period, she also experimented with performing as a member of a local theater group, but felt that show business was an unrealistic goal. Instead, Quivers headed for California, where she worked sporadically in pharmaceutical sales and as a hospital consultant. She soon found herself in financial straits and returned to Baltimore to regroup.

While in Los Angeles, Quivers worked briefly for a broadcast consulting firm that serviced small market radio and television programs. Noting that their employees always seemed happy, she enrolled in The Broadcasting School of Maryland in 1979. Before graduating, Quivers had already landed her first job in the news department at WIOO-AM in Carlisle, PA. She soon moved to WCMB in Harrisburg, where she made a name for herself as a field reporter. Six months later, she had moved up to WFBR, a major market station in Baltimore with a sizable news staff. There, she worked as a consumer reporter while covering the national news for morning and mid-day broadcasts.

In 1981, Quivers was contacted by Denise Oliver, program director at WWDC, a rock station in Washington, D.C. to serve as newscaster and on-air riffing partner for their new on-air personality, Howard Stern. Initially disinterested in both the location and the position, Quivers changed her mind after hearing Stern interview a prostitute in a non-judgmental, matter-of-fact manner. After a brief phone conversation with Stern, she joined his show as on-air news director in March 1981. The pair quickly developed a palpable on-air chemistry that sounded more like a ribald conversation between friends than forced humor, which helped to draw an audience. The connection was genuine: Stern and Quivers would converse for hours before and after each program to hone the natural quality of their rapport.

Quivers remained with Stern throughout the ups and downs of his media career. Though they achieved stellar ratings in Washington, the content of his program - taboo radio subjects like sex and religion in frank, often crude terms - resulted in his dismissal from WWDC in 1982. Quivers returned briefly to WCMB that year before rejoining Stern in October on his new program at WNBC in New York. That show also ended after a controversial skit in 1984, prompting Stern to move to WXRK, launching a 20-year residency at the station that expanded to national syndication in 1986 and a string of late-night television shows on Fox, New York's WWOR-TV and E! Entertainment Television, the latter of which ran for 2,000 episodes between 1999 and 2004. From 1994 to 2001, Stern and Quivers operated the highest-rating morning radio program for seven consecutive years.

During this period, Quivers penned a best-selling autobiography, Quivers (1995), which revealed her past history of family abuse. She also experimented with acting, landing supporting roles on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 1990-96) and in the TV movie "Deadly Web" (NBC, 1996), though her biggest screen role was as herself in "Private Parts" (1997), the hit feature film based on Stern's best-selling autobiography. In 2005, she filmed a pilot for "The Robin Quivers Show," a talk program for Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Television, but the show was not picked up for broadcast. The following year, after "The Howard Stern Show" had left terrestrial radio for the Sirius XM satellite network, Quivers became a vegan after adopting the Martha's Vineyard Diet/Detox, which helped her to lose 70 pounds. In 2009, she helped to launch the 15 Foundation, which supported non-profit charities benefiting school and inner city youth programs. On May 14, 2012, Quivers shocked Stern listeners by announcing that she would require surgery to remove a cancerous mass on her bladder. Following abdominal surgery on May 23, Quivers returned to the program via an ISDN line while recuperating at her home in New York City.

By Paul Gaita