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Dorothy Mengering, Pie-Maker and Mother of Late Night TV, Dies at 95

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Mengering would often make homemade pies for ‘Late Show’ and have Letterman guess the flavor
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Mengering died one day before Letterman’s 70th birthday.

Dorothy Mengering, the mother of late night TV host David Letterman, died at the age of 95 on Tuesday, April 11, in Carmel, Indiana.

Although Letterman was the nominal star of CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, Mengering often made appearances on the show and built a fan base of her own as the unofficial mother of late night television. Mengering would star in segments such as “Guess Mom’s Pie” for Thanksgiving and for Mother’s Day. Her debut appearance came in 1994, when she went to the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, for the show.

"We just all loved the fact that she shined in her unexpected second career as a television star,” Gretchen Letterman, 61, another of Mengering’s three children, told the Tampa Bay Times. "I was just so very proud of her in that role.”

Mengering was not only a star in late night TV, but also a cookbook author — she published Home Cookin' with Dave's Mom in 1996. The cookbook includes recipes like the "Hot Baloney Sandwich,” which she made on Letterman’s show, and “Sour Cherry Pie.” According to the Tampa Bay Times, her cookbook raised money for Kiwanis International, a nonprofit organization that helps children overseas.

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