• Susan Stoderl

Late Bloomer | Erma Bombeck


Quote "I worry about scientists discovering lettuce has been fattening all along."
Late Bloomer Erma Bombeck

Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) knew at age twenty that she would die from the same inherited polycystic kidney disease as her father did when she was nine. Perhaps this was her motivation to always look on the bright side. She is one of the most beloved humorists of all time. Erma published thousands of newspaper columns over forty years, besides fifteen books.


At sixteen Erma was off to a tremendous start when she became a copywriter for the Dayton Herald. However, the next two decades were a little rockier. After graduating from a small Catholic college, she got a job writing a “lady’s” column in the local newspaper—the usual fate for female reporters.


After Erma married, she was a stay-at-home mother and housewife, but still wrote columns for several small publications. In 1966, the Dayton Journal Herald hired her to write two short weekly columns. Within three weeks, her column went nationally syndicated in thirty-six newspapers. Erma was forty years old. The rest is history.

I can remember reading “At Wit’s End” after school when I took care of my grandpa’s corner store. It was the bright point of my day and I’m sure for all the stay-at-home moms, and for those who were entering the work field as well.


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