David Letterman is mourning the loss of his mom. Dorothy Mengering, known as “Dave’s mom,” died at age 95 at her home in Carmel, Indiana, on Tuesday, April 11, Letterman’s publicist Tom Keaney confirmed to the Associated Press. The news came one day before Letterman’s 70th birthday.
Mengering sometimes made appearances on Late Show with David Letterman before the late-night host retired in May 2015. She was first a guest on the CBS talk show via satellite for a segment called “Guess Mom’s Pies” and later made annual Mother’s Day appearances.
Mengering would go on to be a correspondent for the show at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer Norway and the two winter games that followed. “After Lillehammer, I couldn’t believe how it all took off,” Mengering told The New York Times in 1996. “I think it’s about the idea of mom and of a family.” That same year, Mengering released a cookbook called “Home Cookin’ With Dave’s Mom.”
“I am another person besides Dave’s Mom. I’m Gretchen and Jan’s mom, too, and grandmother to four and wife to Hans. So, I have a whole life other than being Dave’s mom,” she previously told the St. Petersburg Times. “I’m so grateful that at this time in my life I’m able to do this. Something I’ve never ever dreamed of. David gave me this opportunity so I need to make the most of it.”
Mengering was married to Letterman’s father, Harry Letterman, from 1942 until his death in 1973. She went on to marry structural engineer Hans P. Mengering in 1973, who died in 2013. In 2015, the star revealed that his mom had a stroke.
“She had a stroke a couple of weeks ago, but she’s fine. She’s 94, for heaven’s sake. If I had a stroke, I’d be hospitalized for the rest of my life,” he told the Indianapolis Monthly. “My mom has one, and she’s fine.”
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