Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

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Ernestine Moller Gilbreth Carey
Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.jpg
Born(1908-04-05)April 5, 1908
DiedNovember 4, 2006(2006-11-04) (aged 98)
EducationSmith College
Known forCo-author, Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes
Spouse(s)Charles Everett Carey
Parent(s)Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Frank Bunker Gilbreth Sr.
RelativesFrank Bunker Gilbreth Jr., brother

Ernestine Moller Gilbreth, Mrs. Carey[1] (April 5, 1908 – November 4, 2006) was an American author.

Life and career[edit]

Born in New York City,[1] Ernestine Gilbreth was the daughter of Lillian Moller Gilbreth and Frank Bunker Gilbreth, early 20th-century pioneers of time and motion study and what would now be called organizational behavior. She grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, with 11 siblings.

Gilbreth Carey and one of her younger brothers, Frank Gilbreth Jr., chronicled the upbringing of the 12 Gilbreth children in their successful comic memoir Cheaper by the Dozen (1948), which was adapted as an eponymous 1950 film. The pair followed up with a successful sequel, Belles on Their Toes (1950), which was adapted as an eponymous 1952 film.

Ernestine graduated from Smith College and worked as a department store buyer and manager for 14 years. In 1930, she married Charles Everett ("Chick") Carey Sr., with whom she had two children, Lillian Carey Barley (b. 1938) and Charles Everett Carey Jr. (b. 1942).[citation needed]

She was the author of several other books, including Rings Around Us, an account of the events that happened from the night she met her future husband, to the night the two watched their daughter dance the Charleston as a high school freshman.[2] Ernestine was also very active in an anti-censorship group, Right to Read. She gathered biographical information about her parents; a collection of her papers has been preserved.[3]

Carey resided in Reedley, California. She died of natural causes in Fresno, California, aged 98, on November 4, 2006.[4]


  • Cheaper by the Dozen (1st ed.). Thomas Y. Crowell. 1948. ASIN B001ACNZYK. (with Frank Gilbreth Jr.)
  • Belles on Their Toes (1st ed.). Thomas Y. Crowell. 1950. ASIN B0007F54BI. (with Frank Gilbreth Jr.)
  • Jumping Jupiter (1st ed.). Little, Brown and Company. 1956. ASIN B000J2UUVI.
  • Rings Around Us (1st ed.). Little Brown & Co. 1956. ASIN B0000CJJI9.
  • Giddy Moment (1st ed.). Little, Brown. 1958. ASIN B0006AVF3A.


  1. ^ a b Current Biography Yearbook, H.W. Wilson Company, 1950
  2. ^ McLellan, Dennis (2006-11-07). "Ernestine Carey, 98; wrote a comical look at her big family in `Cheaper by the Dozen'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  3. ^ "Ernestine Gilbreth Carey papers".
  4. ^ Leimbach, Dulcie (November 6, 2006). "Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, 98, Author of Childhood Memoir, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-09. Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, who, with a younger brother, wrote Cheaper by the Dozen, the account of their growing up in a family of 12 children that led to several movies of the same name, died on Saturday in Fresno, California. She was 98 and lived in Reedley, California. Her death was confirmed by her son, Charles E. Carey Jr.

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