Imagine if you will, entering the world just before the Great Depression. Arriving in Ohio to a working-class family and starting school a year early because you could. Erma Fiste did just that.
Writing humorous columns in junior high and working her way through college, her English professor, Brother Tom Price, said the three magic words which would ignite her career, “You can write.”
She married Bill Bombeck and moved into a house in a suburban development down the street from a young Phil Donahue. Erma Bombeck spent ten years as a stay-at-home mom before her writing career took off with a column titled “At Wit’s End.” Three weeks after she started her column it became nationally syndicated in 36 newspapers.
Her columns were bundled into a book with the same title. Eventually 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada carried her three weekly columns.
She birthed several best sellers with names like, “The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank,” “Motherhood: The Second Oldest Profession,” “Just Wait Until You Have Children of Your Own,” and “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries—What am I Doing in the Pits?”
At the height of her career in the 1980’s she was a twice-weekly guest on Good Morning America and belonged to the American Academy of Humor Columnists. She earned anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000,000 per year. How many authors can say that today?
From Fiste to Bombeck, her humor punched us in the funny bone while we exploded with laughter.
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