Phil McGraw Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Phil McGraw, also known as Dr. Phil is a TV host and writer born on September 1, 1950. He’s famous for his show, Dr. Phil. He used to be a clinical psychologist and got his doctorate in that field, but he stopped practicing psychology in 2006.

Dr. Phil became well-known after appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s. Oprah Winfrey then helped him start his show, Dr. Phil, which premiered in September 2002. On the show, he advises people who need help with different issues.

Full NamePhil McGraw
Date of BirthSeptember 1, 1950
Place of BirthVinita, Oklahoma, United States
OccupationTelevision personality, psychologist, author
Height6 feet 4 inches (193 cm)
SpouseRobin McGraw (m. 1976)
ChildrenJay McGraw, Jordan McGraw
Net Worth$460 million

Phil McGraw’s Early Life and Education

Phil McGraw Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Phil McGraw was born in Vinita Oklahoma on September 1, 1950. His parents were Joseph J. McGraw Jr. and Anne Geraldine “Jerry” (née Stevens). He grew up with his sisters Deana Donna and Brenda in North Texas where his dad worked in the oilfields. When he was 13 he had jobs at an A&W Root Beer stand and a pizza place in Oklahoma City.

When McGraw was in high school he and his dad moved to Kansas. He went to Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park and played football there. After graduating in 1968 he got a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa where he played linebacker.

Later he switched to Midwestern State University in Texas and graduated in 1975 with a degree in psychology. He then got his master’s in experimental psychology in 1976 and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1979 from North Texas State University. His dissertation was about psychological treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. After that, he did extra training in forensic psychology at the Wilmington Institute. His main mentor during his doctoral studies was Frank Lawlis who later became a big part of the Dr. Phil TV show.

Phil McGraw Career

Phil McGraw Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

After finishing his Ph.D. Phil McGraw went back to work with his dad in Texas where his dad ran a private psychology practice. They teamed up with a businesswoman named Thelma Box in 1985 to do self-help seminars called “Pathways.” About six years later McGraw sold his part of the business for $325000.

Then in 1990, Phil McGraw and a lawyer named Gary Dobbs started a company called Courtroom Sciences Inc. (CSI) to help lawyers prepare for trials. They’d practice cases in fake courtrooms and McGraw would advise on what worked and what didn’t. McGraw isn’t part of that company anymore. The TV show “Bull” is based on his work there and he helped create it. Through CSI he started working with Oprah Winfrey.

In 1995, Winfrey hired CSI to help her with a trial and she was so happy with McGraw’s help that she invited him on her show. He became a regular giving advice on relationships and life strategies starting in 1998.

In 2002, McGraw started his TV show “Dr. Phil” with help from Winfrey’s company. In each episode, he advises on different topics. He signed a deal to keep the show going until 2013–2014.

By 2007, Phil McGraw was famous making it onto Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list. His show was super popular second only to Oprah’s. Even in 2018, his show was top-ranked among talk shows.

In 2005, McGraw and his son Jay started a production company called Stage 29 Productions and planned a new show called “Moochers” but it didn’t happen.

They also started the “Dr. Phil House” in 2006 but it got shut down because of complaints from neighbors.

In 2007, they launched “Decision House” but it only ran for one season.

McGraw started promoting another show “The Doctors” in 2007. It ran until 2022 and won awards.

They won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2019 for “Daily Mail TV” another show they produced.

In 2021, they had a reality show called “House Calls with Dr. Phil” on CBS but it only lasted six episodes.

In 2023, Phil McGraw announced a new media company called Merit Street Media focusing on news and true crime. It launched in 2024 with shows featuring Nancy Grace, Chris Harrison, and Steve Harvey.

What is Phil McGraw’s Net Worth?

Phil McGraw’s Net Worth is estimated to be $460 Million as of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Telehealth Pioneering Since 2012

Phil McGraw Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Back in 2012, Phil McGraw started Doctor On Demand a telehealth company. It’s an online place where you can make appointments with doctors and therapists without going to their offices. In 2014 they started offering their services on the web and through a mobile app.

Doctor On Demand mainly helps with things like staying healthy managing medicine and taking care of your mental health. By 2015 they had about 11000 doctors on their team all certified. Then when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 they expanded their services to help more people who needed virtual appointments and added more therapists to handle the increased demand.

A History of Controversy

In 1988, Dr. Phil faced criticism from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for hiring a former patient. Although there were concerns about the timing of their employment and the nature of their relationship no physical contact was mentioned in the investigation. Dr. Phil complied with the board’s requirements and the complaint was closed in 1990. He later chose not to renew his license to practice psychology in Texas.

In 2003, Dr. Phil endorsed a line of nutritional supplements called Shape Up which was later discontinued due to investigations into false advertising. This led to a lawsuit settled for $10.5 million in 2006.

Also in 2003, an unauthorized biography was published covering Dr. Phil’s life and including allegations of abuse and unethical practices.

In 2006, Dr. Phil was involved in a lawsuit related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway which was ultimately dismissed in 2015.

In 2008, Dr. Phil visited Britney Spears in the hospital sparking criticism from her family and mental health professionals. Some accused him of practicing psychology without a license and violating confidentiality.

Later that year Dr. Phil was sued for defamation over an interview aired on his show but the claims were dismissed on First Amendment grounds.

In 2016 Dr. Phil and his wife filed a defamation lawsuit against American Media Inc. which was later dropped.

In 2022 allegations of workplace abuse and unethical treatment of guests surfaced against Dr. Phil and his team which they denied.

Dr. Phil faced criticism for his interview with Shelley Duvall in 2016 with some calling his behavior exploitative and cruel.

In 2022, Dr. Phil faced lawsuits for recommending Turn-About Ranch a therapeutic facility for troubled youth on his show. He stopped endorsing it afterward.

Different Approaches to Psychology

Phil McGraw Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Phil McGraw’s advice and methods have gotten some heat from other therapists and folks who aren’t experts in the field. They say his advice is either too simple or could even be harmful. The National Alliance on Mental Illness criticized his behavior in one episode of his TV show calling it unethical and irresponsible. In a 2001 interview with the Sun-Sentinel McGraw mentioned he’s not a fan of traditional one-on-one counseling saying “I’m not the type of psychologist who sits you down with a pipe and asks about your childhood.”

Even though McGraw often tells people to see a pro, especially a therapist some research suggests his show can encourage viewers to seek help. A study from 2016 at The Ohio State University found that after watching Dr. Phil people were more likely to consider getting mental health care for themselves and their kids. The study said this might be because viewers feel like they know McGraw from watching him on TV and feel more confident about reaching out for help.


In 2015, Phil McGraw got into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. Then, in 2020, he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2006, he was asked to give a big speech at the yearly American Psychological Association convention. They even gave him a special award for bringing mental health awareness to a lot of people.

Personal life

Phil McGraw Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Phil McGraw got married for the first time in 1970 when he was just 20 years old. His wife Debbie Higgins McCall said he was controlling and didn’t let her join the family business. She felt like she was only supposed to do housework and was even told to start working out to improve her chest. She also said cheating led to the end of their marriage.

In 1973, McGraw ended the marriage and started dating Robin Jo Jameson. They got married in 1976 and have two kids together Jay and Jordan McGraw.

McGraw knows how to fly planes and has a special license for it. He’s also a Christian and started a charity called the Dr. Phil Foundation in 2003.