Steve Harvey has come a long way from the days when he was so broke he found himself living out of his 1976 Ford Tempo and washing up in hotel bathrooms. Now at 56, he's married to his dream girl—wife Marjorie—hosts three shows (The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Family Feud, and The Steve Harvey Show), is the author of multiple best-selling books and is giving back through his philanthrophic efforts. Here's a look at our February cover star's rise to the top.
After years on the comedy club circuit and a stint hosting It’s Showtime at the Apollo, Harvey finally got his big break with his epoynomous sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show, which ran from 1996-2002.
In 1997, Harvey was featured in the classic Spike Lee stand-up comedy documentary, The Original Kings of Comedy.
At the Essence
The funny man hosted the Essence Awards’ in 2002.
Off to Hollywood
Harvey made an appearance in 2003’s The Fighting Temptations, co-starring Beyonce. Though he was now making more movies, Harvey maintained that he still considered himself a comedian first.
Bringing the Funny
Harvey hosted the 2004 BET Comedy Awards. The West Virginia native once called stand-up comedy “the most difficult thing in the world” because you’re trying “to make a person laugh whom you’ve never met before.”
In 2000 Harvey began hosting The Steve Morning Show a syndicated morning radio show now broadcast in over 70 markets.
Harvey credits his wife Marjorie Bridges Harvey (whom he married in 2007) with changing his life. “She makes coming home peaceful,” he told USA Today. “She gives me the confidence to just tell the truth.”
All in the Family
Harvey and Bridges decided to blend their two families (she has three children, he has four), and there was one rule: “There’s no ‘step’ anything here.” Harvey told ESSENCE.
Dream a Little Dream
In 2008 Harvey began his annual partnership with Disney's Dreamers Academy, a mentoring program focused on helping teens achieve their personal and professional dreams.
After years spent doling out relationship advice to women, Harvey decided to put his thoughts into a book he titled Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man in 2009. The book sold two million copies, certifying Harvey as a New York Times Bestselling author.
"Think Like a Man"
Meagan Good from "Think Like a Man"
Harvey’s second book Straight Talk, No Chaser hits shelves in December 2010. “This book is the non-watered-down version of what I was trying to say in the first one,” he told USA Today. “I want women to dig deeper, sooner rather than later, so they can find out the truth before it’s too late.”
In 2002 Harvey also founded the now-annual Neighborhood Awards (formerly known as the Hoodie Awards), which honors local communities.
Harvey hosted First Lady Michelle Obama on the first season of The Steve Harvey Show in 2012.
Photo by Chuck Hodes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Commander in Chief
Harvey recently hosted President Barack Obama on The Steve Harvey Show. "Sitting down with the President is something I’ve always dreamt of doing," wrote Harvey on his Facebook page.
Photo by Steve Harvey Show
Harvey is a busy man these days. On top of hosting three shows—The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Family Feud, and The Steve Harvey Show—he also has his own clothing line, hosts and produces the annual Neighborhood Awards, runs the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation and produces films like Think Like a Man.
Steve and Marjorie Harvey have graced three ESSENCE covers since 2007.