Erma Bombeck's Biography


Who was Erma Bombeck?


Erma Bombeck (1927 – 1996) was a nationally syndicated humor columnist for 30 years, author of twelve books, freelance writer, and a regular on “Good Morning America” for 11 years. Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in her 20’s, Erma was a board member of the Arizona Kidney Foundation (now the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona) from 1977 to 1980. In 1980, Erma and the AKF Women’s Board (now the Arizona Women’s Board) started the annual Authors Luncheon that has grown into one of the largest such events in the country.

Erma began peritoneal dialysis in 1993. She received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor on April 3, 1996 and died of ensuing medical complications 19 days later.

To honor her memory and foster her legacy, Erma’s family formed The Erma Bombeck Organ Donor Awareness Project to promote the benefits of organ donation. Now simply known as The Erma Bombeck Project, the focus remains on continuing awareness of organ donation registration, while educating the public about the option of living kidney donation.