Matt Groening’s mom dies; maiden name Wiggum, she inspired Marge Simpson

Matt Groening’s mom dies; maiden name Wiggum, she inspired Marge Simpson
Marge and Homer Simpson were named after creator Matt Groening’s parents.
(Twentieth Century Fox)

Fans of “The Simpsons” are in mourning over the death of a woman most of them never met: series co-creator Matt Groening’s mother, Margaret Groening. For most, she will be forever linked with Marge Simpson, her animated namesake.

A paid obituary appearing in Monday’s Oregonian newspaper stated the 94-year-old Groening died peacefully in her sleep at home in Portland on April 22. A spokesperson for “The Simpsons” confirmed the obituary and that her son had declined any public comment.


She was a former high school English teacher whose maiden name was Wiggum, another name familiar with fans of “The Simpsons.” Though the accompanying Oregonian story points out that Margaret never went by the nickname “Marge.”

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The guest log for the obit is filled with comments from around the world, friends of the family mixed with people who were simply great fans of her son Matt’s creation.

“Obviously, I never met Margaret,” wrote Brian Nearing of Albany, N.Y. “But thanks to the life that she and Homer built, and the son and family that they produced, and the vivid, wonderful, funny and sweet Simpson family that son created, I feel like I knew her, and I mourn her loss.”

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Matt Groening has admitted that he drew heavily on family names when creating his animated family in the 1980s. He has two sisters named Lisa and Maggie and his father was named Homer. The real life Homer Simpson (Margaret’s husband) passed away in 1996. Another sister, Patty, who inspired the name for Aunt Patty, died in January.


“The Simpsons” is the longest-running prime-time scripted show on television. In the fall it will begin its 25th season.


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