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Famous Midwesterners Talk Motherhood

Behind every great Midwesterner, there's a great Midwestern mom. Comedians, writers, presidents and other important heartland heroes interpret the roles of motherhood.
  • She inspires

    "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."

    --President Abraham Lincoln, who spent most of his youth and early career in the Midwest

  • She's always there

    "Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing."

    --From the novel "Beloved," by Toni Morrison, born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, in 1931

    "She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along."

    --Minnesota-born writer Margaret Culkin Banning

  • She accepts

    "The story of a mother's life: Trapped between a scream and a hug."

    --Cartoonist Cathy Guisewite, born in Dayton, Ohio

  • She reads

    "You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be -- I had a mother who read to me."

    -- Poet and humorist Strickland Gillilan, who attended Ohio University at the turn of the last century

  • She helps

    "If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"

    --Comedian Milton Berle, who held an honorary degree from McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois

  • She protects

    "Sweater, n.: Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly."

    --Writer Ambrose Bierce, born in Ohio in 1842

  • She understands

    "Having a baby makes you forgive your own mom, fast."

    --Comedian Ana Gasteyer, who attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

  • She drives...a lot

    "A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after."

    --Chicago-born writer and satirist Peter De Vries

  • She loves

    "The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."

    --The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of Indiana's University of Notre Dame

  • She rocks your world

    "In God's great vaudeville, Mother is the headliner."

    --Writer Elbert Hubbard, born in Illinois in 1856

  • She struggles

    "At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent."

    --Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, who grew up in Milwaukee

  • She's empowering

    "To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power."

    --Writer Maya Angelou, born in St. Louis


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