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Heather Armstrong, ‘Queen of the Mommy Bloggers,’ Is Dead at 47

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Heather Armstrong, the breakout star behind the website Dooce, who was hailed as the queen of the so-called mommy bloggers for giving millions of readers intimate daily glimpses of her odyssey through parenthood and marriage, as well as her harrowing struggles with depression, died on Tuesday at her home in Salt Lake City. She was 47.

Pete Ashdown, her longtime partner, who found her body in the home, said the cause was suicide.

Ms. Armstrong, who was born Heather Brooke Hamilton, was a lapsed Mormon raised in Bartlett, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, and later based in Salt Lake City. She rose to prominence at the dawn of the personal blog craze of the early 2000s; her baptism in the field came after she graduated from Brigham Young University in 1997 and moved to Los Angeles, where she taught herself HTML code and took a job at a tech company.

She started Dooce in 2001, christening it, according to one version of the story, with the nickname she had earned after committing a typo writing the word “dude” in an AOL Instant Messenger chat with friends.

Early on, she mined her experiences as a tech drone for material — firing off tart salvos about the absurdities of start-up culture in the swelling dot-com bubble, publishing, say, bro-ish pronouncements overheard at a company Christmas party. (“Ruben, dude, you can’t stand on the table. Or on the bar.”)

A year later, her blog candor got her fired, an experience that inspired a popular internet phrase, “Dooced,” referring to people who find themselves scanning job listings after posting ill-advised comments online. The term even found its way onto “Jeopardy!”

She felt guilty about the experience. “I cried in my exit interview,” she recalled. “My boss, who served as the subject of some of my more vicious posts, sat across the table from me unable to look me in the face, she was so hurt. I had never felt like such a horrible human being, even though in my mind I thought that I was just being creative and funny.”

Nothing seemed off limits, as she regaled readers about “poop and spit-up,” Ms. Belkin wrote. “And stomach viruses and washing-machine repairs. And home design, and high-strung dogs, and reality television, and sewer-line disasters, and chiropractor visits.”

Feeling pressure from all sides, she scaled back her blogging efforts and put more focus on her mental health.

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