Is your surname Egstrom?

Research the Egstrom family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Norma Deloris Egstrom

Also Known As: "Peggy Lee"
Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Jamestown, North Dakota, United States
Death: January 21, 2002 (81)
Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, United States (complications of diabetes and a heart attack)
Place of Burial: Los Angeles, California
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Marvin Olaf Egstrom and Selma Amelia Egstrom
Ex-wife of David Michael Barbour; Brad Dexter; Dewey Martin and Jack Del Rio
Mother of Nicki Lee Foster
Sister of Milford Adrian Egstrom; Leonard Egstrom; Della Irene Martin; Marianne Elenore Ringuette; Clair O. Egstrom and 2 others

Occupation: singer, songwriter, composer, actress
Managed by: Martin Severin Eriksen
Last Updated:

About Miss Peggy Lee

Peggy Lee (1920 – 2002) was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums---encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs.

Born as Norma Deloris Egstrom on 26 May 1920 in Jamestown, Stutsman, North Dakota, USA and dying on 21 January 2002 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA, she took on the professional name of Peggy Lee, possibly as young as age 17. (Wikipedia, citation needed.)

Parents: the seventh of eight children of Marvin Egstrom (1874-1950), a station agent for the Midland Continental Railroad, and Selma Anderson (1885-1924). Her family was of Swedish and Norwegian ancestry.


  1. Musician Dave Barbour (1943–1951); divorced
  2. Actor Brad Dexter (1953); divorced
  3. Actor Dewey Martin (1956–1958); divorced
  4. Actor Jack Del Rio (1964–1965); divorced

Children of Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour:

  1. Nicki Lee Foster (born 1943)


  • On her marker in a garden setting is inscribed, "Music is my life's breath."
  • She is most famous for her cover version of the Little Willie John hit "Fever," to which she added her own, uncopyrighted lyrics ("Romeo loved Juliet ... " "Captain Smith and Pocahontas ... ").
  • Never afraid to fight for what she believed in, Lee passionately insisted that musicians be equitably compensated for their work. Although she realized litigation had taken a toll on her health, Lee often quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson on the topic: "God will not have his work be made manifest by cowards."
  • Lee was a mainstay of Capitol Records when rock 'n 'roll came onto the American music scene. She was among the first of the "old guard" to recognize this new genre, as seen by her recording music from the Beatles, Randy Newman, Carole King, James Taylor and other up-and-coming songwriters.


Birth: May 26, 1920 Jamestown Stutsman County North Dakota, USA Death: Jan. 21, 2002 Bel Air Los Angeles County California, USA

Singer, Songwriter and Actress. Best remembered for songs "Fever," "Lover," "Big Spender," and a host of other songs. Born Norma Dolores Egstrom, her mother died when she was 4, and her father, a railroad station agent, remarried, but later abandoned the new family, leaving Peggy with her stepmother, who physically abused her. Peggy would develop her singing as a means of escape, and at age 14, she began singing at local PTA meetings for 50 cents a night. While singing as a teenager on a local radio station in Fargo, the program director suggested she change her name to Peggy Lee. Her big break came when Benny Goodman hired her to sing with his orchestra after hearing her perform. She quickly shot to stardom with the song, "Why Don't You Do Right?" and she went on to record such songs as "Fever," "Lover", "Golden Earrings" and "Is that all there is?" Much of her singing was with Big Bands, and her 1989 album, "Peggy Sings the Blues" was nominated for a Grammy. A prolific songwriter, she wrote for such great musicians as Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, and Quincy Jones. In 1990, she won the Pied Piper Award, from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Trying her hand at acting in the late 1940s with "Midnight Serenade" (1947), she won an Academy Award nomination for her role as the hard-drinking singer, Rose, in "Pete Kelly's Blues" (1955). She also voiced the vocals for four characters in the Disney film "Lady and the Tramp" (1955), including: Darling, Peg, and the two Siamese Cats, Si and Am, but these were virtually her last movies. Thirty-six years later, she won $2.3 million from Disney over royalties from the Videocassette sales of the movie, as her contract with Disney had barred the sale of movie "transcriptions" without her consent. Her later years were marked with lawsuits and medical ailments. In 1976, she had a near-fatal fall, a second serious fall in 1987, and in early 1985, underwent four angioplasties (surgery in which a balloon is used to open clogged arteries in her heart), and later double-bypass heart surgery. Confined to a wheelchair in the late-1980s, by the 1990s, she was suffering from diabetes and another stroke. She was married four times, each time ending in divorce, and had one child, a daughter, Nicki, with her first husband, guitarist David Barbour. She died in 2002 of a heart attack. She was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1992. She has a rose, "the Peggy Lee," named for her; it is pink with a touch of peach color. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)

Family links:

 Marvin Olaf Egstrom (1874 - 1950)
 Selma Amelia Anderson Egstrom (1885 - 1924)

 Dave Michael Barbour (1912 - 1965)*
 Brad Dexter (1917 - 2002)*

 Nicki Lee Barbour Foster (1943 - 2014)*

view all 12

Miss Peggy Lee's Timeline

May 26, 1920
Jamestown, North Dakota, United States
November 11, 1943
Age 23
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States