Matt Groening's Mother, Inspiration For Marge Simpson, Dies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Matt Groening's Mother, Inspiration For Marge Simpson, Dies

"Margaret Groening died peacefully in her sleep on April 22, 2013, in Portland."

That paid obituary, which ran Monday in The Oregonian, marked the life of the woman who served as the inspiration for one of the best-known characters on television and arguably pop culture: the beehive-coiffed Marge Simpson.

Groening was 94.

Her son, Matt Groening, created The Simpsons, a show for which he drew on characters from his own childhood.

As we reported last year:

"The names of many characters on the show — Flanders, Kearney, Lovejoy — correspond to street names in Portland, Ore. Indeed, Groening says his goal was to 'name every character after streets in Portland, but we were in a hurry so I dropped the idea.'

"Another clue: The Simpsons live on Evergreen Terrace – also the name of the street the Groenings lived on. And, of course, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie are named after Groening's parents and sisters, respectively."

Born a Wiggum — another name Simpsons fans will recognize — on March 23, 1919, Margaret Groening was high school valedictorian and "Miss Everett." Her obituary notes that she "married classmate Homer Groening, whom she chose because he made her laugh the most."

A separate story in The Oregonian noted that while Matt Groening used his mother as inspiration for Marge, she did not go by that name.

Fans of the show paid tribute to Margaret Groening in her obituary guest book.

"What a shame. She was a delightful woman. I hope one of the grandchildren got that beautiful blue hair. It would be a shame if her lovely features were not passed down to someone in the family," wrote Julie Burkhart from Victor, Mont.

Reader John McFarland of Olympia, Wash., wrote: "RIP Margaret... you may have been born a Wiggum, and married a Groening, but you died a Simpson."

Margaret Groening is survived by her brother, Arnold; her children, Mark, Matt, Lisa and Maggie; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Not My Job: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Quizzed On Downhill Cheese Races

If you think downhill ski racing is dangerous, then you've never seen the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Races, in which competitors hurl their bodies down a steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese.
NPR

Spread Of Palm Oil Production Into Africa Threatens Great Apes

Palm oil growers are setting their sights on Africa as they amp up production. More than half of the land that's been set aside for plantations in Africa overlaps with ape habitats, researchers say.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Forget the Forbes Celebrity 100. This is the Friskies 50 — the new definitive guide of the most influential cats on the Internet. The list is based on a measure of the cats' social media reach.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.