Heather Armstrong: who was Dooce blogger, cause of death, what did she write about?

Heather Armstrong’s blog Dooce had around 8 million viewers at the height of its popularity

Heather Armstrong rose to fame as a blogger in the early 2000s. (YouTube)Heather Armstrong rose to fame as a blogger in the early 2000s. (YouTube)
Heather Armstrong rose to fame as a blogger in the early 2000s. (YouTube)

Heather Armstrong, an American blogger and social media influencer, has died aged 47. The news of her death was confirmed by her boyfriend Pete Ashdown who said he had found Armstrong dead at their Utah home.

Armstrong was viewed as a pioneering figure for 'mommy blogging' in the 2000s and she documented the highs and lows of being a parent on her blogging website Dooce.com.

She was also ranked by Forbes annual list as one of the 30 most influential women in media at the height of her popularity in 2009. But who was Heather Armstrong, what did she write about and is the cause of her death known?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who was Heather Armstrong?

Heather Armstrong was an American 'mommy blogger' and social media influencer from Salt Lake City.

She rose to prominence in 2001 when she began her blogging career. Within a year she was fired from her full-time job as a web designer in Los Angeles for speaking about her coworkers whilst giving them nicknames such as That One Coworker Who Manages to Say Something Stupid Every Time He Opens His Mouth.

Armstrong’s dismissal and the reason behind it, captured the attention of the mainstream media and boosted traffic to her blog.

The American restarted her website six months later as a motherhood blogger after she became pregnant in 2003 and her writing detailed her child’s temper tantrums, her mental health challenges and documented her struggles with alcoholism and postpartum depression.

The blog, which was named Dooce.com amassed a huge following and according to an estimate in the Wall Street Journal it was making around £32,000 a month in terms of advertising. In 2009, she also starred as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and she was on The Forbes List for Most Influential Women.

Armstrong’s success gave her a strong social media presence and she also released three books including the 2009 memoir It Sucked and then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown and a Much Needed Margarita. Armstrong revealed in her book that she has suffered with depression throughout large stages of her life and that it went untreated until she got to college. She also opened up about her battles about sobriety.

Is cause of her death known?

While no official cause of death has been released, her boyfriend Pete Ashdown said Heather Armstrong died from suicide. Ashdown revealed to the Associated Press that she had been sober for more than 18 months, but that she had recently had a relapse. He did not provide any further details.

Does Heather Armstrong have children?

Heather married Jon Armstrong and the pair had two children before their divorce, including: her daughter Leta, aged 19 and her son Marlo, aged 14. Armstrong was in a relationship with Pete Ashdown before her death and he had three children from his previous marriage.


Heather Armstrong’s death has touched the lives of many people on social media and many have paid tribute to the blogger on Twitter.

One user posted: “A tremendous loss for the OG Blogging and influencer marketing community. Heather was a trailblazer, a writer, a speaker, a consultant. She was more than just a “so called mommy blogger.”

Another added: “In the early 2000s, Heather Armstrong, aka dooce, was one of the first ever hugely famous bloggers. She was a pioneer in envisioning how the digital world could be a place where everyone has a voice, could be influential etc-ie: all the things we take for granted today.”

Another said: “Beyond devastated to hear of the passing of Heather Armstrong, known by her blog readers as Dooce. Heather’s was the first blog I ever subscribed to nearly 15-20 years ago now. She taught us about vulnerability, pain, strength and humour.”

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