The lovable Joseph A. Wapner was a retired California judge whose funny and folksy style of resolving disputes on the show “The People’s Court” from 1981 to 1993 spawned an entire genre of courtroom-based reality television with no-nonsense judges and often clueless litigants deciding real, small-claims cases. He died at his home in Los Angeles on Feb. 26. He was 97.

(November 15, 1919 – February 26, 2017)

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