Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Reading News: Erma Bombeck’s Birthday


February 21st is the birthday of Erma Bombeck.  Bombeck was born in 1927 and died in 1996. She was a mother, housewife, humor columnist, and prolific author and journalist. Her newspaper column “At Wit’s End” covered her ordinary life as a suburban housewife and reached millions of readers. The column began its run in 1965, and by 1978 ran in 900 separate newspapers. Like so many Literary Mamas, Bombeck spent her life balancing children and family, and her own personal dreams. She wrote humorously about this balance in her columns and best selling books.

Erma Bombeck and her legacy show up from time to time in various places around Literary Mama. Read Kristen Levithan’s tribute here, and Kristina Riggle’s review of Bombeck’s best seller If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?here.

Bombeck was an alumna of the University of Dayton, and lived and wrote in Centerville, OH. Every two years her alma mater sponsors the three day Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. The workshop is devoted to humor and human interest writing, and offers a faculty of professional humor writers from across the country.

In addition, the University of Dayton and the Washington-Centerville Public Library host the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You can learn more about the 2012 and upcoming 2014 Workshops and Competitions at

Read more about Erma Bombeck’s life, writings, and historical influence at

Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. Her essay “Blood Mountain” won the 2017 Notes From the Field contest at Flyway Journal. Other work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including, NewfoundLife in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.

More from

Thank you, Amanda, for making note of this remarkable woman's birthday. Erma Bombeck was one of a kind and remains an inspiration to me as a writer and a mother.
Thanks for the note Kristen, and for your lovely tribute to Erma!
Comments are now closed for this piece.