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

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

Heather Armstrong, the breakout celebrity in the back of the internet web page Dooce, who used to be as soon as hailed for the reason that queen of the so-called mommy bloggers for giving tens of millions of readers intimate day by day glimpses of her odyssey by way of parenthood and marriage, along with her harrowing struggles with depression, died on Tuesday at her space in Salt Lake The city. She used to be as soon as 47.

Pete Ashdown, her longtime partner, who found out her body in the home, said the explanation used to be as soon as suicide.

Ms. Armstrong, who used to be as soon as born Heather Brooke Hamilton, used to be as soon as a lapsed Mormon raised in Bartlett, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, and later based in Salt Lake The city. She rose to prominence at the crack of morning time of the personal blog craze of the early 2000s; her baptism inside the field were given right here after she graduated from Brigham More youthful Faculty in 1997 and moved to Los Angeles, where she taught herself HTML code and took a role at a tech company.

She started Dooce in 2001, christening it, consistent with one style of the story, with the nickname she had earned after committing a typo writing the word “dude” in an AOL Fast Messenger chat with friends.

Early on, she mined her reviews as a tech drone for topic subject matter — firing off tart salvos regarding the absurdities of start-up custom inside the swelling dot-com bubble, publishing, say, bro-ish pronouncements overheard at a company Christmas celebration. (“Ruben, dude, you’ll be able to’t stand on the table. Or on the bar.”)

A 12 months later, her blog candor got her fired, an revel in that inspired a popular internet phrase, “Dooced,” relating to people who find themselves scanning process listings after posting ill-advised comments online. The period of time even found out its method onto “Jeopardy!”

She felt in rate regarding the revel in. “I cried in my move out interview,” she recalled. “My boss, who served as the subject of a couple of of my additional vicious posts, sat across the table from me now not in a position to seem me inside the face, she used to be as soon as so hurt. I had under no circumstances felt like this sort of horrible human being, even if in my ideas I thought that I was merely being ingenious and funny.”

Alternatively that profession setback unfold out large choices for fortune and standing. In an era when a large number of folks, women particularly, have been starting non-public blogs — steadily just for the thrill of friends and family — Ms. Armstrong glimpsed commercial chances.

Since the operating a weblog build up approached its zenith in 2009, Ms. Armstrong used to be as soon as a blog powerhouse, appearing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and attracting some 8.5 million readers a month, consistent with a 2019 article in Vox, while tapping a gusher of income off banner commercials, sponsored posts, books, speaking fees and other assets. The news media christened her “the queen of the mommy bloggers.”

Along the way in which during which, the six-bedroom space on a cul-de-sac in Salt Lake The city that she shared in conjunction with her husband and business partner at the time, Jon Armstrong, and her two children functioned as a fishbowl for her cultishly trustworthy readers.

As well-known in a 2011 profile by means of Lisa Belkin in The New York Events Magazine, Ms. Armstrong used to be as soon as the lone blogger featured that 12 months on the Forbes list of necessarily probably the most influential women in media; she used to be as soon as ranked No. 26, one slot in the back of Tina Brown of The Daily Beast. The article quoted a product sales guide for Federated Media, the company that presented commercials on her web site, who known as Ms. Armstrong “undoubtedly one in all our most a good fortune bloggers,” together with, “Our most a good fortune bloggers can gross $1 million.”

As Ms. Armstrong said inside the Vox interview, “I looked at myself as anyone who took place with the intention to talk about parenthood one way or the other many women wanted with the intention to on the other hand have been afraid to.”

Now not the rest gave the impression off limits, as she regaled readers about “poop and spit-up,” Ms. Belkin wrote. “And stomach viruses and washing-machine upkeep. And home design, and high-strung dog, and fact television, and sewer-line disasters, and chiropractor visits.”

Alternatively Ms. Armstrong did not shy transparent of thornier topics, in conjunction with her tangled breakup with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a 2017 publish detailing why she left the church, she recalled, with some horror, a blog diatribe she wrote two days after the attacks of 9/11, 2001, comparing Mormons, in their devotion to authority, to the Islamist terrorists who flew the jetliners into buildings.

“I’m not specifically proud about it,” she added. “I’d had a few or various martinis when I wrote it, on the other hand my dad used to be as soon as just a tiny bit disappointed and informed me that I was ‘a disgusting creature who had succumbed to the dark aspect.’”

The themes grew darker however. In 2009, Ms. Armstrong chronicled her struggle with postpartum depression, after the supply of her first child, in a best-selling memoir titled, “It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Kid, a Breakdown, and a So much Sought after Margarita.”

Few readers have been ready, then again, when she and her husband, who moreover had a blog, broke the inside track in 2012 that that they had been splitting. The breakup of the family outraged many Dooce loyalists, who had come to cherish her portrayal of a charmed marriage and family life. It moreover looked as if it would embolden the anonymous critics on internet forums who had long spewed hateful resentment over her apparently idyllic life and financial just right fortune.

Feeling energy from all sides, she scaled once more her operating a weblog efforts and put additional focal point on her mental smartly being.

In 2019, she revealed “The Valedictorian of Being Useless,” a haunting recollection of her many attempted therapies for depression, in conjunction with one all through which she used to be as soon as over and over given propofol (which she known as “the Michael Jackson drug”) to induce a coma. “I felt implausible!” she wrote. “When you want to be dead, there’s now not the rest relatively like being dead.”

Along side Mr. Ashdown, her survivors come along with her two children.

Ms. Armstrong’s efforts to hunt out peace endured. In a publish on Dooce remaining month, she recounted her turn to sobriety in recent years, writing that “22 years of agony I had numbed with alcohol had come alive and revamped itself into an almost alien life form.”

Comparing the revel in to wonder from electrocution, she wrote, “I was pressured to stare this wild-eyed savage at once inside the face, and now I am going looking out and suppose, ‘Oh, this. This is merely life. All of this is just a physically reaction to psychological pain.’”

“Sobriety used to be as soon as not some mystery I had to treatment,” she added. “It used to be as soon as simply taking a look the least bit my wounds and studying how you can live with them.”