Laura Catherine Schlessinger (born January 16, 1947) is an American talk radio host, socially conservative commentator and author. Her call-in radio program occasionally features short monologues on social and political topics, but is mostly made up of her responses to callers' requests for personal advice. Schlessinger's answers have been variously characterized as direct, wise, to-the-point, abrupt and cruel. Her website says that her show "preaches, teaches, and nags about morals, values and ethics."
Previously, Schlessinger combined a local radio career with a private practice as a marriage and family counselor, but since going national she has concentrated her efforts on the daily syndicated The Dr. Laura Program, and on authoring self-help books. A television talk show was launched in 2000, but it was short-lived. The Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives, and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands are among her bestselling works.
Schlessinger was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Monroe (Monty) Schlessinger, a civil engineer, and Yolanda Ceccovini Schlessinger, an Italian war bride. She grew up in Brooklyn, then on Long Island. She was an only child for eleven years until her sister, Cindy, was born. She has described her childhood environment as unloving and unpleasant and her family as dysfunctional, ascribing some of the difficulty to extended family rejection of her parents' mixed faith Jewish-Catholic marriage. While in her late 20's, Schlessinger separated from her first husband, who was a dentist, and moved to Los Angeles, where her parents had resettled.