Dorothy Marie Mengering

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Dorothy Marie Mengering (Hofert)

Also Known As: "Letterman"
Birthplace: Linton, Greene County, Indiana, United States
Death: April 11, 2017 (95)
her home, Carmel, Hamilton County, Indiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Earl Jacob Hofert, Sr. and Lena Marie Hofert
Wife of Harry J. Letterman and Hans P. Mengering
Mother of David Letterman; Private and Private
Sister of Earl Jacob Hofert, Jr. and Private

Occupation: church secretary, television correspondent
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Dorothy Marie Mengering

Dorothy Mengering (née Hofert), better known to Late Show viewers as Dave's Mom, is the mother of late-night talk show host David Letterman and frequent guest on his show. She died peacefully in her home on April 11, 2017, at the age of 95.

Her children wrote:

"As Dorothy breathed her last, a brilliant red cardinal landed on a branch outside her window, singing his song."


Following several years of appearing via telephone, Mengering made her on screen Late Show debut covering the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. She currently resides in Carmel, Indiana.

Born as Dorothy Marie Hofert in Linton, Indiana, the oldest child of Earl Jacob Hofert and Lena M. Strietelmeier, Mengering's maternal grandparents, Fredricke Hilgediek and William Strietelmeier, were born in Germany. A younger brother, Earl Jr., and sister, Hazel, were born in 1922 and 1923 respectively. Dorothy's first cousin is the grandmother of the model and actress Rebecca Romijn, a fact which was discussed on the Late Show with David Letterman.

She spent a year at Indiana University before marrying Harry Joseph (Joe) Letterman in 1942, with whom she had three children: Jan, David, and Gretchen. While raising her children, she assisted her husband, a florist, and worked as a secretary at her church, Second Presbyterian; she was widowed in 1973.

In 1983, Dorothy married again, this time to Hans Mengering, a decorated World War II veteran and retired engineer.

Mengering's first on-camera appearance on The Late Show came in 1994, providing nightly coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. In the days immediately prior to her television debut, Mengering fell and received eight stitches on her eyebrow and a black eye, and spent much of her on-camera time under many layers of makeup. While in Lillehammer, Mengering interviewed Hillary Clinton (inquiring if her husband might be able to "fix" Dave's speeding tickets), Nancy Kerrigan (repeatedly asking her if she would like a cup of hot cocoa), and several other winter Olympians, including gold medal-winner Tommy Moe.

Mengering reprised her role as Late Show Olympic commentator in 1998 and 2002, covering the Winter Games held in Nagano, Japan and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Since her first appearance in 1994, Mengering has appeared on the show several times each year. In 1995, Mengering traveled to London to film remote spots for The Late Show, which would be airing from London later that year.

Mengering makes annual appearances on Thanksgiving, via satellite from her Indiana home, for a feature entitled "Guess Mom's Pies". She also appears regularly on or around Mother's Day and has made occasional visits on her birthday.

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Dorothy Marie Mengering's Timeline

July 18, 1921
Linton, Greene County, Indiana, United States
April 12, 1947
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, United States
April 11, 2017
Age 95
her home, Carmel, Hamilton County, Indiana, United States
April 11, 2017
Age 95