Cathy Seipp Was 49

Cathy Seipp died of lung cancer at Ceders-Sinai Wednesday, March 21, 2007. I assembled most of this profile of her in early 2003.

It was only after Cathy told me in October of 2002 that she had incurable lung cancer that we did our first interview and became close. Cathy called me her Boswell. Family and friends and doctors didn’t expect her to make it to 2007.

After I got the call from Maia Wednesday afternoon, I looked away from my computer and turned up the Carpenters and thought about Cathy. Then, just as I started to cry, I got a phone call and had to return to work. Work is good.

Luke and Cathy on Luke’s 40th Birthday May 28, 2006 Luke and Cathy in the summer of 2004 with Matt Welch in the background Luke and Cathy (photo by Emmanuelle Richard) Cathy, Luke, Cheryl at my 40th birthday party Cathy, Luke, Cheryl Cathy, Luke, Cheryl

Over lunch in 2003, after talking about my broken relationship, I said to Cathy, "You’ve spoiled me for other women." "You don’t know how true that is," replied Cathy. "I’m not kidding." Cathy never liked any of my girlfriends. Emmanuelle Richard emails:

Hey Luke: Thank God for all your research and this lengthy profile of Cathy. Glad you too met. You made her laugh so much with your antics, and by being you — a funny guy. It’s sad, and the end was awful, but the Catholic in me believes in life after death — there’s no way such a soul can disappear forever. Especially after all this hard work at becoming Cathy Seipp! Even on her deathbed, she kicked ass and defied predictions.

Matt Welch emails:

Dear Team Cathy, After setting at least three world records for stubborn refusal to adhere to any medical predictions whatsoever, Cathy’s no longer with us. She died at around 2:05 pm, Greg Crister at her side, after a day in which she was basically sleeping peacefully. A big crew is at the hospital with him — Harvey, Maia, Emmanuelle, Debbie, I’m sure others. Harvey’s busy making arrangements, and I’ll send word when I hear something concrete, but I think he’s trying to set up a funeral for Friday. I’ll state the obvious in saying that it’s probably best not to blizzard everyone with phone calls right now. We will see later what Harvey & Maia want to do this evening, and what support they need. You all should know — especially the ones who might not be in L.A. at the moment, or who haven’t seen her in a while — that Cathy took enormous comfort (and I’m sure not a small amount of wicked pleasure), in the incredible outpouring of support from all of you, and the thousands of complete strangers who sent best wishes her way. If she deserves all the credit in the world for creating this community of unlike-minded weirdos around her, I think the community should know that they really helped in a pinch. There will be much more of that help needed in the days and weeks ahead, and I’ll send word when I know anything about where it can be applied. …There will be a public funeral at Friday, 10 am, at Mt. Sinai Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, 90068. It will be followed by a private reception. Cathy has also asked for people to make donations to the Humane Society.

Jill Stewart emails: "As we friends and family say goodbye to our dear Cathy today, I noticed that it’s the first day of spring. She was all about the zest for life and facing it all with verve. So it seems she is making a statement, even now." Nick Gillespie, Editor of Reason magazine, emails: "Cathy was an immense inspiration as a journalist and, more importantly, as a community-builder. Please send condolences from all the Reason crew, who will miss her greatly." Kate Coe emails: "Cathy Seipp is at Technorati #2 and take it from me, nothing would make her happier than being # 1. For a writer who disected pop culture while beings passionate about it, this would be a true memorial. Every little link helps. If she’s # 2, the terrorists win." Cathy was competitive and she carefully monitored her traffic and the number of links she received as measured by She regularly Googled her name to see what people were saying about her. That’s how she met Matt Welch. She noticed he’d mentioned her on

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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