Erma Bombeck nation: 18 years after her death, 'Bomburbia' lives on in hearts and minds

DAYTON, Ohio - Eighteen years after the death of Erma Bombeck, the nation of Bomburbia lives.

WCPO Contributor Anne Saker found it in Dayton, at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, which takes place every two Aprils at her alma mater, the University of Dayton

In April, a thriving population of more than 300 of her fans and emulators convened at the eighth annual gathering in her name to draw inspiration from her unique touch that transformed how American women saw themselves.

“Erma really in many ways taught me to be a little braver than I might otherwise would have been,” said none other than legendary television talk-show host Phil Donahue.

He was once Bombeck’s neighbor on Cushwa Drive in Centerville. Donahue gave the opening-night address at the workshop, with Bombeck’s three children seated at a table of honor.

WATCH: Phil Donahue talks about his relationship with Erma Bombeck (WDTN-TV)

Become a WCPO Insider to learn more about the friendship between Donahue and Bombeck and read about why writers still find inspiration from Bombeck in the digital age.

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