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Dorothy Mengering (1921 – 2017)

by Legacy Staff

A cookbook author, Dorothy Mengering was known better for her appearances on her son David Letterman’s late-night talk show.

Dorothy Mengering, a cookbook author who was known better for her appearances on her son David Letterman’s late-night talk show, died Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Carmel, Indiana, according to multiple news sources. She was 95.

Mengering was a recurring guest on “Late Night With David Letterman” from 1986 to the early 2000s. At first, she called her son live on the show, billed as either “Dave’s mom” or “Dave’s mom Dorothy.” She later appeared as an on-camera guest.


In 1994, Mengering covered the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, for her son’s show. She continued covering the Winter Olympics in 1998 and 2002.

Following her initial appearance, Mengering was featured on her son’s show several times each year. She made annual appearances on Thanksgiving, via satellite from her Indiana home, for a feature called “Guess Mom’s Pies.” She also appeared regularly a few days before Mother’s Day and made occasional visits on her birthday. Throughout the decades, she proved a perennial hit among fans of the show.

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In 1996, Mengering went on a book-signing tour to promote her cookbook, “Home Cookin’ With Dave’s Mom.”

Dorothy Marie Hofert was born July 18, 1921, in Linton, Indiana. She attended Indiana University for a year before marrying Harry Letterman, who preceded her in death in 1973. They had three children, Jan, David, and Gretchen Letterman; all three survive their mother.

She also was preceded in death by her second husband, Hans Mengering, whom she married in 1983.

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