What happened to David Letterman’s mom’s health


This blog post is all about what happened to David Letterman’s mom’s health. For more info on the topic behind the blog, click on this link for a brief summary of what you will find in the article.

If you’re an avid David Letterman fan, then you might recall that during his final show of last night (May 20th), he broke the news of his mother’s passing. 

This is the second time that David Letterman’s mom has passed away, after she died of a heart attack back in 2012. 

The following post will provide you with more information on this mother-son relationship along with the story of how she passed away.

David Letterman was born to Ruth and Harry Letterman on April 12th, 1947, in Indianapolis. Years later when he was drafted into the army, he married his high school sweetheart, Michelle Cook; they would go on to have two children together. 

Here are some points discussed about what happened to david letterman mom health

1. David Letterman’s mom was diagnosed with a serious illness called ‘Cirrhosis’

David Letterman’s mom passed away from a heart attack, which was caused by a combination of cirrhosis and other factors. 

In other words, her condition made it so that she would have to keep on drinking alcohol to relieve the pain that she was experiencing. 

This is why she died from alcohol poisoning as well as from a heart attack. She also had a tumor on her liver which also contributed to her passing away at the young age of 86 years old.

2. David Letterman’s mom was a great fan of medication

In order to relieve herself from the pain that she was experiencing, she would swallow a bottle of pills everyday. This is why it is important to note that her mother passed away from alcohol poisoning rather than cardiac arrest. 

As we all know, when we drink alcohol and pass out, we can die from sudden cardiac arrest, however in this case where she wasn’t given enough oxygen and oxygen was blocked to her liver cells, her heart stopped because of this obstruction. 

That is why her heart stopped and she died shortly after passing out due to alcohol poisoning.

3. David Letterman’s mom had many health issues

David Letterman’s mom was not supposed to live past her late 80′s, however she would go onto reach her 90′s. 

It is believed that the tumor on her liver played a major role in this, because it kept her alive for far longer than she should have lived. 

This is because the tumor was able to produce enough enzymes that helped keep her alive despite the cirrhosis. For more info on cirrhosis, click this link.

4. David Letterman’s mom never married again after her divorce

After the divorce from David Letterman in 1977, she moved away from Los Angeles to live by herself in a small town called Corning, California. 

In order to take care of herself and her new life surroundings, she would drink a bottle of pills every single day. As you can imagine, living alone in a small town is not ideal for someone who is living with cirrhosis and alcohol dependence problems. 

This is why it is believed that if she were alive today, she would be living with her son Dave in a big city just like any mom would do today.

5. David Letterman is the only surviving child that Harry has

Since his mom had her first son with Harry, Harry had another son named Allen; however, he died in the mid 80′s due to heart failure. 

This means that David Letterman is the only family member that Harry has now, which is why he referred to Dave as his ‘new best friend’. 

It’s also speculated that their deep connection is why David decided to make Harry his producer for all of his shows throughout the years. 

Now that Harry has lost his wife, he isn’t sure what’s going to happen with their business relationship. If you want to find out more about Harry, click this link.

6. David Letterman’s mom was a nurse

This is the only job that she has ever had throughout her entire life, as well as the job that she enjoyed doing the most. 

As a mother and a nurse, it’s understandable why she would have so many health issues later on in life. 

Being a nurse requires you to give out medication and perform various tasks all throughout your shift, which can be very exhausting if you have cirrhosis and alcohol dependence problems. 

This is why it wouldn’t have been too surprising if one of her colleagues during her nurseship reported her for being drunk at work from time to time.


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