Miriam Engelberg

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Miriam Engelberg
Photo of Miriam Engelberg.jpg
Born(1958-01-07)January 7, 1958
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[1]
DiedOctober 17, 2006(2006-10-17) (aged 48)
San Francisco, California[1]
Known forCartoonist, Illustrator, Writer
Spouse(s)James Gormley[1]

Miriam Linda Engelberg (7 January 1958 – 17 October 2006)[2] was a graphic novelist and illustrator, whose battle with metastatic breast cancer was chronicled in her bestselling comic memoir, Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person.

In 2001, at the age of 43, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Engelberg observed the harrowing and difficult experience she had with cancer treatment. These observations, drawn in Engelberg's primitive style, would eventually be published as Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person.

In August 2006 Engelberg revealed in her blog that her cancer had spread to her brain, and she was receiving palliative care through home hospice.[3]

As of October 2006, Engelberg was still continuing to publish comics through her website, although her once weekly comic updates were growing less frequent and consistent. She died on 17 October 2006, aged 48.

She is survived by her husband and son.[4]

As a staff member of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Miriam served as both a technology trainer and resident cartoonist. Her cartoon Planet 501c3 was the first cartoon series depicting life in the nonprofit sector. She also is credited with coining the term "accidental techie", describing many of her students who had a role as technology experts in small nonprofits despite having little or no formal training in technology. The term is widely used in the nonprofit sector and was inspiration for the book Accidental Techie: Supporting, Managing, and Maximizing Your Nonprofit's Technology (which features some of her cartoons).


  • Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, (English), HarperCollins, New York City ISBN 0060789735
  • Welcome to Planet501c3: Tales from The Nonprofit Galaxy, CompassPoint[4]
  • Tantrum Comics[4]
  • Accidental Techie: Supporting, Managing, and Maximizing Your Nonprofit's Technology

Her work has been published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Nonprofit Quarterly, and CASE's Currents magazine.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Estrella, Cicero. "Miriam Engelberg - actress, artist". SFGate. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  2. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/J5TW-5Q3 : accessed 25 Feb 2013), Miriam Linda Engelberg, 17 October 2006; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  3. ^ Engelberg, Miriam (2006-08-22). "Blog in the morning". Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2006-10-09.
  4. ^ a b c d "About the author", Cancer made me a shallower person, Miriam Engelberg

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