Heather Armstrong, ‘Queen of the Mommy Bloggers,’ Is Dead at 47

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Heather Armstrong, the breakout star behind the website Dooce, who was hailed as the queen of the so-termed mommy bloggers for providing tens of millions of visitors personal day-to-day glimpses of her odyssey through parenthood and relationship, as very well as her harrowing struggles with melancholy, died on Tuesday at her house in Salt Lake Metropolis. She was 47.

Pete Ashdown, her longtime lover, who discovered her overall body in the property, reported the cause was suicide.

Ms. Armstrong, who was born Heather Brooke Hamilton, was a lapsed Mormon lifted in Bartlett, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, and later based mostly in Salt Lake Town. She rose to prominence at the dawn of the personalized web site craze of the early 2000s her baptism in the area came just after she graduated from Brigham Younger University in 1997 and moved to Los Angeles, in which she taught herself HTML code and took a job at a tech company.

She commenced Dooce in 2001, christening it, in accordance to just one edition of the story, with the nickname she had gained immediately after committing a typo crafting the term “dude” in an AOL Instant Messenger chat with pals.

Early on, she mined her activities as a tech drone for product — firing off tart salvos about the absurdities of start out-up lifestyle in the inflammation dot-com bubble, publishing, say, bro-ish pronouncements overheard at a organization Christmas occasion. (“Ruben, dude, you just cannot stand on the desk. Or on the bar.”)

A calendar year later on, her blog candor got her fired, an experience that encouraged a well known internet phrase, “Dooced,” referring to individuals who come across them selves scanning work listings after posting ill-encouraged opinions on line. The time period even observed its way on to “Jeopardy!”

She felt responsible about the experience. “I cried in my exit interview,” she recalled. “My manager, who served as the topic of some of my extra vicious posts, sat throughout the desk from me unable to search me in the confront, she was so harm. I had under no circumstances felt like these a horrible human staying, even although in my intellect I imagined that I was just getting creative and humorous.”

But that occupation setback opened up large possibilities for fortune and fame. In an era when a great number of men and women, girls in specific, ended up starting private blogs — often just for the satisfaction of mates and relatives — Ms. Armstrong glimpsed professional possibilities.

As the blogging growth approached its zenith in 2009, Ms. Armstrong was a site powerhouse, showing up on “The Oprah Winfrey Present” and attracting some 8.5 million audience a thirty day period, according to a 2019 write-up in Vox, even though tapping a gusher of profits off banner advertisements, sponsored posts, books, speaking service fees and other resources. The information media christened her “the queen of the mommy bloggers.”

Along the way, the six-bed room household on a cul-de-sac in Salt Lake Town that she shared with her partner and company husband or wife at the time, Jon Armstrong, and her two kids functioned as a fishbowl for her cultishly devoted audience.

As famous in a 2011 profile by Lisa Belkin in The New York Periods Magazine, Ms. Armstrong was the lone blogger highlighted that yr on the Forbes list of the most influential ladies in media she was rated No. 26, one slot guiding Tina Brown of The Day-to-day Beast. The post quoted a gross sales agent for Federated Media, the enterprise that offered advertisements on her site, who named Ms. Armstrong “one of our most successful bloggers,” adding, “Our most successful bloggers can gross $1 million.”

As Ms. Armstrong mentioned the Vox interview, “I looked at myself as another person who happened to be able to speak about parenthood in a way several women of all ages required to be ready to but ended up frightened to.”

Nothing appeared off restrictions, as she regaled viewers about “poop and spit-up,” Ms. Belkin wrote. “And tummy viruses and washing-device repairs. And household design and style, and large-strung canines, and actuality tv, and sewer-line disasters, and chiropractor visits.”

But Ms. Armstrong did not shy absent from thornier matters, such as her tangled separation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-working day Saints. In a 2017 publish detailing why she still left the church, she recalled, with some horror, a website diatribe she wrote two days after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, comparing Mormons, in their devotion to authority, to the Islamist terrorists who flew the jetliners into buildings.

“I’m not notably very pleased about it,” she additional. “I’d experienced a handful of or numerous martinis when I wrote it, but my dad was just a small bit upset and informed me that I was ‘a disgusting creature who had succumbed to the dark aspect.’”

The subject areas grew darker still. In 2009, Ms. Armstrong chronicled her battle with postpartum depression, following the beginning of her first kid, in a finest-marketing memoir titled, “It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Experienced a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Desired Margarita.”

Several readers had been ready, even so, when she and her husband, who also experienced a website, broke the information in 2012 that they have been splitting. The separation of the loved ones outraged lots of Dooce loyalists, who had occur to cherish her portrayal of a charmed relationship and relatives lifetime. It also appeared to embolden the nameless critics on web community forums who experienced long spewed hateful resentment over her seemingly idyllic existence and fiscal accomplishment.

Emotion pressure from all sides, she scaled back her running a blog initiatives and place a lot more concentrate on her mental overall health.

In 2019, she released “The Valedictorian of Being Useless,” a haunting recollection of her numerous attempted therapies for despair, together with a person in which she was consistently offered propofol (which she known as “the Michael Jackson drug”) to induce a coma. “I felt fantastic!” she wrote. “When you want to be lifeless, there is practically nothing pretty like staying lifeless.”

In addition to Mr. Ashdown, her survivors include her two youngsters.

Ms. Armstrong’s initiatives to locate peace ongoing. In a post on Dooce final month, she recounted her transform to sobriety in new several years, creating that “22 a long time of agony I had numbed with liquor had arrive alive and reworked alone into an pretty much alien life form.”

Evaluating the encounter to shock from electrocution, she wrote, “I was compelled to stare this wild-eyed savage straight in the face, and now I glimpse about and think, ‘Oh, this. This is just existence. All of this is just a bodily response to psychological soreness.’”

“Sobriety was not some mystery I experienced to solve,” she added. “It was just wanting at all my wounds and studying how to live with them.”

If you are possessing thoughts of suicide, phone or textual content 988 to access the National Suicide Avoidance Lifeline or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/methods for a listing of additional assets.


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