ERMA BOMBECK Biography - Writers


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Erma Louise Bombeck (February 21, 1927 - April 22, 1996), born Erma Fiste, was           
an American humorist who achieved great popularity for a newspaper column that           
depicted suburban home life in the second half of the 20th century.                       
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Bombeck graduated from the University of Dayton in 1949             
with a degree in English. She started her career in 1949 as a reporter for the           
Dayton Journal Herald, but after marrying school administrator Bill Bombeck, a           
college friend, she left the job and raised three children.                               
As the children grew she started writing At Wit's End, telling self-deprecating           
tales about the life of a housewife. It debuted in the Kettering-Oakwood Times           
in 1964. She was paid $3 per column.                                                     
Growing popularity led At Wit's End to be nationally syndicated in 1965, and             
eventually it ran three times a week in more than 700 newspapers. The column was         
collected in many best-selling books, and her fame was such that a television             
sitcom was based on her. The series, Maggie, ran for eight shows in 1982 before           
being cancelled.                                                                         
In 1971, the Bombecks moved to Paradise Valley, Arizona.                                 
Bombeck had autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. In 1996 worsening               
health forced her to have a kidney transplant, and she died of complications             
that year. She is interred in the Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.