The old view of radio host, author, and box-office titan Howard Stern is that he's crass and boundary-pushing. Although Stern still stretches the lines of political correctness for the sake of comedy and entertainment, something that's worthy and important for society, he's morphed into a more responsible, thoughtful, and downright brilliant entertainer who happens to be the best celebrity interviewer on the planet.
This is the focus of his current New York Times best-seller, Howard Stern Comes Again; a book that features the insights, history, comedy, and sorrow of over 140 of his best guests. Although Howard Stern has always been completely open about his life, even in his interviews, he's very quiet about his family, specifically his daughters. Stern has three of them, Emily, Debra, and Ashley Jade, from his first marriage to Alison Berns. Now he's remarried and still as quiet about his life as a father. But this article will shed some light on the surprising ways Howard Stern actually parents his kids. So buckle up, because we're about to go in deep...
One of the revelations in Stern's new book is that he had two pretty significant disease (the big C) possibilities. One of which forced him into surgery. Luckily, it turned out to be nothing. But as Stern was going through it, he waited until everything was set in stone before even telling his daughters. He didn't want them to worry unnecessarily about him. This shows that he doesn't want to impact them negatively in any way.
As mentioned, we don't know a lot about the inner-workings od Howard Stern's family life, aside from his relationship with his wife, Beth. This is because Stern seldom even mentions his girls on the air and doesn't allow paparazzi to get anywhere near them. The fact that his three daughters don't live in New York or LA makes it easier for them to stay out of the spotlight. But since their dad has never encouraged them to be out in the open, the paparazzi barely even try to capture them.
In an interview, Emily Stern discussed how her father really took her away from dating when she was younger. Hearing him discuss the things that he did on the radio didn't make her all that attracted to men. But this did allow her to focus on her passions as well as her education. Nowadays, her view has changed and she's in a committed relationship.
There was one circumstance where Emily Stern was taking part in a play that required her to shed some of her clothing. She made specific requests not to be billed as "Howard Stern's daughter" but the director decided to go back on his promises. Howard was more than angry about this and leaped to defend his daughter's honor. Needless to say, the sharp-tongued radio host totally took the director down and cleared up the issue.
One might think that Howard would be a tough father-in-law and generally not great around his daughter's partners. But this is the furthest from the truth. Howard has spoken about being open to his daughters' romantic partners and even says he adores the men that his daughters have picked. At least one of his daughters, Debra, is married, while the other two are in long-term relationships.
Nowadays, we have become used to the softer-side of Howard Stern. Those who know about the animal rights pursuits that he and his wife Beth take part in. Together, they have fostered over a thousand cats through their house. They take part in the North Shore Animal League and various other programs. But this is a side of Howard that his daughters have always seen in him.
Howard may not have had the kind of relationship with his father that he wanted growing up. But he maintains a strong connection with both his parents today. But it's even more important to him that his parents have a strong relationship with his daughters. His mother, Ray Stern, especially, is in constant contact with the girls even though they live in different states.
Although Howard often speaks about how he went through a time where his own narcism got the better of him, he has tried to take an active interest in the passions of his daughters. Each of them has taken a role outside of the entertainment industry. Stern has made sure to keep well-informed on their work so he can have an active conversation with them. This isn't something he had the luxury of having with his own father as a child.
Fans of The Stern Show know all about his biggest fans including Steve "Bobo" From Florida, and just how odd they can be. While his second daughter, Debra, was being born, Bobo, a fan Stern had never met, had found his way into the delivery room. As soon as Stern saw this, he convinced the doctors to allow him to whisk his daughter home away from Bobo and the rest of the fans who wanted to take a look at Stern's newborn.
Although Howard Stern is Jewish, anyone who listens to his show knows that he's not a fan of organized religion and may not even believe in God. As most Jewish people are, Stern is culturally Jewish. But the same can't be said for his eldest daughter, Emily. Emily Stern is actually an ordained rabbi in the Orthodox Jewish faith, something that's pretty uncommon. Although Stern disagrees with her views, he has been more than supportive of her choices and says that he's proud of her.
Stern isn't someone who claims to have been a great father all of his life. He knows how challenging the divorce was on his daughters, as well as falling for his second wife, Beth Ostrovsky, who is 18 years his junior. But Stern has done a lot of work in therapy to become a better person and, most importantly, a better father. His relationships with his girls are better than ever because of it.
Howard has spoken about the toll his divorce had on him, his ex, and his three daughters. Because of it, he made sure that the separation process was as swift as possible and wasn't full of drama. It was all very painful for them, but he made sure that the kids weren't involved. There wasn't much argument over money either as Stern made sure that his ex and children were more than comfortable. After 21-years of being with Alison Berns, things didn't work out. But his daughters had to be as far from that as possible.
Although he's made sure his daughters weren't in the limelight, he did make sure that they felt comfortable around celebrities. This is especially true when Stern became more mainstream as his friendships with people like Jimmy Kimmel, John Stamos, the late Joan Rivers, and Whitney Cummings developed. Even Stern's wedding to Beth was a star-studded event that included Sarah Silverman, Barbara Walters, and Chevy Chase. Because his three daughters felt okay around famous people, they were able to go to a number of events without losing their cool.
Not unlike her dad, Emily Stern isn't above voicing her opinion in public. One time she made a few unflattering comments about her dad and his new wife, although now Beth isn't so new; after all, Howard and Beth have been together since 2008. But Howard didn't ever address his daughter's comments in public, making sure that any family drama that may have existed was kept quiet, even if he was unhappy about it.
Although Howard's youngest, Ashley Jade, has been photographed with Beth many times, his older two daughters have seldom been spotted at the same location. This tells us that there may be some issues between them. Or, at the very least, Howard is happy to allow his daughters to have their own relationship with him without his new wife if they chose so.
One of the best choices that Howard made when he went his separate way from Alison was to only say positive things about her on-air. He also made sure that his daughters continued their strong connection to their mother, even if that meant that he was made out to be the villain. He also has made sure that his daughters have a happy relationship with Alison's new husband, David Scott Simon.
Howard has always been one to push the boundaries of what's been considered politically correct. But this was all done in the name of comedy and entertainment. When it comes to his actual beliefs, he has always stood by his daughters who have been fairly progressive. Like anyone with a shred of common sense, Howard puts his daughters' health and happiness above the ideas of backward individuals seeking to take their rights from them.
Both Beth and Howard have been open about how strong their marriage is and how they've both grown because of it. Howard regrets not being as attentive as he could have been during his first marriage. This wasn't the best example for his children. However, he makes sure to show them what a good husband actually does. And Beth is sure to back this up by telling everyone just how attentive and romantic Howard truly is. By doing this, he's expressing how much he values his daughters as people and what he hopes they find in life.
Howard Stern has a lot of quite sensitive and artsy interests including painting and becoming a master chess player. But one of his major hobbies was developed in order to bond with his daughter Emily. Both of them are avid photographers and love taking pictures, of people, nature, and animals. Emily even had a very publicized gallery exhibit for a while in Brooklyn.
As we spoke about earlier, Howard has made sure to keep a barrier between his talk-show, The Howard Stern Show, and his three daughters. He rarely brings them up in any context as not to cross the line and invade their privacy. Recently, he was asked if he would ever have them on as his guests. He responded by saying that it would be interesting, especially for his final show, but it would also get in the way of their relationship. So, he's maintained that it's always up to them. This tells us that this brilliant radio talk-show host puts his children far above his ratings.
Sources: The Howard Stern Show, Hollywood Reporter, Married Biography, Worldation, Tablet Mag, Nicki Swift, Radar Online, Howard Stern Comes Again