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Phil McGraw
Phil 1.jpg
Phil McGraw photographed by Jerry Avenaim for the cover of Newsweek magazine 2001.
Born September 1, 1950 (1950-09-01) (age 71)
Occupation Psychologist, television host
Spouse(s) Debbie Higgins (1970–73)
Robin Jameson (1976–present)
Children Jay, Jordan

Phillip Calvin McGraw (born September 1, 1950), best known as Dr. Phil, is an American television personality, psychologist and author. He is the host of the psychology-themed television show Dr. Phil. He became a celebrity after appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Early life

McGraw was born in Vinita, Oklahoma. He is the son of Jerry Stevens and Joe McGraw. He grew up with two older sisters, Deana and Donna, and younger sister, Brenda. They lived in the oil fields of North Texas. His father was an equipment supplier there. During McGraw's childhood, his family moved so his father could become a psychologist. McGraw attended Shawnee Mission North High School in Mission, Kansas. In 1968, he was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa. He played middle linebacker. His coach was Glenn Dobbs. Glenn Dobbs is the father of Gary Dobbs. Gary Dobbs went into business with McGraw. On November 23, 1968, McGraw's team lost to the University of Houston 100-6. This is one of the most badly played games in college football history.

After that season, McGraw moved to Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He next got a Master's degree in experimental psychology in 1976. He then got a Ph.D in clinical psychology in 1979 at the University of North Texas. At the University of North Texas, his dissertation was titled "Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Psychological Intervention."


After obtaining his Ph.D., McGraw joined his father, Dr. Joe McGraw, in Wichita Falls, Texas, where the elder McGraw had a private psychology practice.

In 1983, McGraw and his father joined Thelma Box, a successful Texas businesswoman, in presenting "Pathways" seminars, "an experience-based training which allows individuals to achieve and create their own results."

In 1990, McGraw joined lawyer Gary Dobbs in co-founding Courtroom Sciences Inc. (CSI), a trial consulting firm through which McGraw later came into contact with Oprah Winfrey. After some time, CSI became a profitable enterprise. It advising Fortune 500 companies and injured plaintiffs about achieving settlements. McGraw is no longer an officer or director of the company. After starting CSI, McGraw ceased the practice of psychology.

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.

The next year, McGraw published his first best-selling book, Life Strategies, some of which was taken from the "Pathways" seminar. In the next four years, McGraw published three additional best-selling relationship books, along with workbooks to complement them.

As of September 2002, McGraw formed Peteski Productions and launched his own syndicated daily television show, Dr. Phil, produced by Winfrey's Harpo Studios. The format is an advice show, where he tackles a different topic on each show, offering advice for his guests' troubles.

Weight loss products

In 2003 Dr Phil started selling weight loss products.

Charitable foundation

McGraw announced the formation of the Dr. Phil Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood obesity, on October 22, 2003. The Foundation also supports charitable organizations that help address the emotional, spiritual and money needs of many children and families.


  • The Devil and Dr. Phil an episode of Frasier (2003)
  • Scary Movie 4 (2006)
  • Treehouse of Horror XVII an episode of The Simpsons (2006)
  • Madea Goes to Jail (2009)
  • Hannah Montana (1 episode, 2010)

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