Lynda Hirsch, the woman daytime TV producers call "the person who knows everything about daytime soaps," began writing celebrity profiles when she was 17.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Hirsch remembers watching soap operas as a young child after school with her mother as early as 1958. "I've been a student of the soap opera since I was 4 years old," Hirsch says. "I like the genre, the construction. They are truly an American art form."
She freelanced articles during college, and one interview in particular with Paul Anka helped put her through school. "I interviewed him, and then whenever he was visiting a particular city, I'd sell that interview to the local paper. I kept doing that till my career was bigger than his," she jokes.
After graduating with a master's in fine and professional arts from Kent State University, Hirsch started writing regularly for a Cleveland magazine called Soap Bubble. This experience led directly to a syndicated newspaper feature on soap operas, first distributed by Field Newspaper Syndicate. The column, now titled Lynda Hirsch on Soaps and available from Creators Syndicate, has been in continuous syndication since 1976.
Since that time, Hirsch has become recognized as the authority on daytime television. In 1982, when the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., was looking for information about soap operas for an exhibit on American culture, it turned to Lynda Hirsch. Her columns are now archived there to serve as a reference source for anybody researching soap operas.
Hirsch has appeared as a guest expert on soap operas on nationally syndicated television programs, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Phil Donahue Show" and "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee." In Cleveland, she has hosted a radio show entitled "Lynda Hirsch on Soaps," and she has appeared on local television at least three times a week for 16 years.
She has been featured regularly on numerous local TV talk shows in major markets, such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Detroit. She has produced six special programs for local television stations, and her special on "Guiding Light" in Pittsburgh won the Matrix Award from the Women's Group of Pittsburgh.
In 1991, the Southern California Psychiatric Association named one of Hirsch's columns on the depiction of mental illness on soap operas as the Best Feature Story of 1990. That was the year Billy Crystal was also honored by the association for his broadcast "Sessions."
In 1994, Hirsch became the only journalist from the mainstream press to be chosen as a voting member of the Soap Opera Hall of Fame.
Hirsch maintains homes in both Cleveland and Manhattan, where she stays abreast of the latest happenings in the world of daytime television.
Her column can be read here .