Entertainment May 7, 2013
RIP Margaret Groening, The Inspiration For Marge Simpson


Margaret Groening, who recently died at the age of 94, married one cartoonist and gave birth to another - and her son, Matt, went on to create 'The Simpsons'.

Over the years, many fans have identified Margaret with one of Matt's most famous creations - Marge Simpson - as he named many of the show's characters after people in his family (apparently, he was pressed for time before a 1987 pitch meeting).

Homer Groening, Matt's father and Margaret's husband (who was born in Saskatchewan) died in 1996. Homer and Margaret had four children, two of whom were named Lisa and Maggie (no Bart, though - that's an anagram of "brat").

In real life, Margaret didn't go by "Marge" and she wasn't too much like 'The Simpsons' matriarch.

"Well, we're not alter egos," she told a Linfield College Review reporter in 2008. "It's just the family names."

But what about the hair: "It was never blue," she told a Seattle Times interviewer in 2007. And given that he doesn't exist, she got a little tired of prank calls to her house asking for Bart.

But Margaret and her family were always proud of what Matt achieved with 'The Simpsons'. "We enjoy Matt's fame very much," she told the Linfield Review. "We're very proud of him. As for the show, it just took off. Matt took off with it."

And for the most part, she enjoyed the humour of being identified with the cartoons. "My maiden name is Wiggum," she told the Times interviewer, giggling. "Like Chief Wiggum."

Here's her official obituary. See how many names you recognize:


The city of Portland, Oregon (where Matt grew up) also played a big role in naming many Simpsons characters.

Check out this great infographic from The Oregonian detailing the many characters who owe a debt to the city where Matt was born.



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