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Humorist, writer, columnist and journalist Erma Bombeck found the humor in the everyday experiences of being a wife and mother and shared it with her readers.
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She lived in Los Angeles for a time while working the sitcom Maggie. The show's family was based on her own, and she wrote several of the episodes. Bombeck was also an executive producer on the series. Despite Bombeck's popularity, the show failed to catch on with television audiences and was canceled after eight weeks on the air.
Bombeck also had a very serious side too. She was a vocal advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment for women and served on the President's National Advisory Committee for Women in the late 1970s. In the 1980s, Bombeck tackled a very difficult subject; childhood cancer, with her book I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise (1989). She visited a camp for children with cancer and spent a lot of time with families with children fighting cancer as part of writing the book. Like her other work, it found the humor in a challenging situation while making some poignant observations.
In the 1990s, Bombeck faced her own battle with cancer. In 1992, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of her health problems. After her cancer treatment, her kidneys began to shut down because of a disorder known as polycystic kidney disease. In 1996, Bombeck received a kidney transplant at the San Francisco Medical Center.
Erma Bombeck died from medical complications related to her transplant on April 22, 1996, in San Francisco, California.
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