Heather Armstrong, "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers," has passed away at the age of 47.

Heather Armstrong, who was known as the "Queen of the Mommy Bloggers," has passed away at the age of 47.

Image Credit: NBC News

Heather Armstrong, known as the "queen of mommy bloggers," has passed away at the age of 47. She gained fame through her website Dooce, where she shared personal experiences about parenthood, marriage, and depression with millions of readers. Her longtime partner, Pete Ashdown, found her body and confirmed that the cause of death was suicide.

Heather was born in Bartlett, Tennessee, and raised as a lapsed Mormon. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she moved to Los Angeles and taught herself HTML code before starting Dooce in 2001. Initially, she used her experiences as a tech employee to provide material for her blog, writing about the absurdities of start-up culture and sharing bro-ish pronouncements heard at company Christmas parties.

After a year, Heather's candid writing style led to her getting fired from her job, which later inspired the internet slang term "Dooced." The phrase refers to people who lose their job after making inappropriate comments online.

The term became so popular that it was even featured as a clue on the TV show "Jeopardy!" Heather felt guilty about the experience and cried during her exit interview. Her boss, who had been the subject of some of her critical posts, was hurt and could not even look at her. Despite thinking she was being creative and funny, Heather felt like a horrible human being.

Despite the setback, Heather saw the potential for commercial success in personal blogging during an era when many people, especially women, started blogs just to share their experiences with friends and family. As the blogging craze peaked in 2009, Heather emerged as a powerful figure in the industry.

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She appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and had around 8.5 million readers visiting her blog every month, according to a 2019 article in Vox. She made a significant amount of money through banner ads, sponsored posts, books, speaking engagements, and other sources. Heather was widely recognized as "the queen of the mommy bloggers" by the media.

Throughout her rise to fame, Heather's six-bedroom home in Salt Lake City served as a public stage for her devoted readers. Her blog earned her a spot on the Forbes list of the most influential women in media in 2011, where she was ranked as No. 26, one slot behind Tina Brown of The Daily Beast, according to a profile by Lisa Belkin in The New York Times Magazine.

A sales representative for Federated Media, the company that sold ads on her site, called Ms. Armstrong "one of our most successful bloggers" and added that "Our most successful bloggers can gross $1 million." As Heather herself noted in an interview with Vox, she saw herself as someone who could talk about parenthood in a way that many women wanted to but were afraid to do so.

Ms. Belkin wrote about a wide range of topics on her blog, including mundane ones like cleaning up after babies and fixing appliances, as well as more interesting ones like home design, dogs, and reality television.

On the other hand, Ms. Armstrong wasn't afraid to address difficult and sensitive topics, such as her complicated split with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She even shared a regretful post she had written after 9/11, in which she had compared Mormons to the terrorists who carried out the attacks. Ms. Armstrong went on to write a best-selling memoir about her struggles with postpartum depression.

However, readers were shocked when she and her husband announced their separation on their blog, leading to anger and criticism from some readers who had idolized her perfect-seeming marriage and family life.

Due to the stress and expectations coming from multiple sources, she reduced her blogging activities and shifted her attention towards taking care of her mental well-being.

In 2019, she released her book "The Valedictorian of Being Dead," which recounts her struggles with depression and the various therapies she underwent, including one that involved being given propofol to induce a coma. She wrote that while she was under, she felt amazing, saying that "When you want to be dead, there's nothing quite like being dead." Ms. Armstrong is survived by her two children and her husband, Mr. Ashdown.

n a recent blog post, she shared her journey to sobriety and how it helped her confront and cope with the psychological pain she had been numbing with alcohol for 22 years.

She likened the experience to being electrocuted, saying that she was forced to confront her pain head-on. She came to the realization that sobriety was not a puzzle to be solved, but rather a process of learning to live with her wounds.

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