Margaret Groening, the inspiration for TV's Marge Simpson, dies at 94

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Margaret Groening, the mother of cartoonist and TV producer Matt Groening, has died at the age of 94. As the show creator's real mother, Groening was the inspiration for Marge Simpson on her son's biggest show, "The Simpsons."

Born in 1919 to Matt and Ingeborg Wiggum, Margaret Groening grew up in Washington state before marrying her college boyfriend, Homer Groening, and settling in Oregon to raise a family. Matt Groening famously used the names of his parents -- as well as two of his sisters, Lisa and Maggie -- when creating "The Simpsons." Some of the basics of the animated characters were said to derive from the real Groening family. Two other siblings, Patty and Mark, were left out of the show's central family in favor of Bart (derived from "brat").

While Homer died in 1996, Margaret is survived by her brother, Arnold, as well as four of her five children (eldest daughter Patty died earlier this year), 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Her obituary ran in the Monday (May 6) issue of The Oregonian.

Oddly enough, Marge Simpson was apparently not Margaret Groening's favorite character on the hugely successful animated series. That honor goes instead to Kwik-E Mart convenience store's own Apu. "I just love his accent," Groening told The Portland Tribune in 2002.

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