Grandma Duck

Elvira “Grandma” Duck (née Coot; born c. 1855) is Donald’s grandmother and the Duck family matriarch. In most stories, she is simply referred to as “Grandma Duck”. She was introduced to the Disney comic universe by Al Taliaferro in the newspaper comic strips in a picture on the wall in 1940, and in person in 1943. Taliaferro found inspiration for her in his own mother-in-law, Donnie M. Wheaton. Depending on the writer, Grandma Duck has had various given names over the years; in a story by Riley Thomson from 1950 she was named “Elviry” and in a story from 1953 she was given the name “Abigail”. Don Rosa later gave her the name “Elvira” in his comic books series The Life and times of Scrooge McDuck.

According to Don Rosa, Grandma was born around 1855. Later, she married Humperdink Duck, and they had three children named Quackmore (Donald’s father), Daphne (Gladstone’s mother) and Eider (Fethry’s father). Grandma Duck also helped to raise her great-grandchildren, Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck. In most stories, especially those made in Italy, as well as other media that handles Donald Duck’s childhood, it is Grandma Duck who takes on the role as his caretaker. There has never been an explanation for this, but it must either be because that Donald’ parents had passed at that point, but that does not explain the absence of his sister Della in Grandma’s care; or, what seems to be most likely, that in his early childhood, Donald was to difficult for his parents to handle because of his mischievous behavior and bad temper. So instead, one could assume, they sent him to be with his much more wise and experienced grandmother for a while, to try to learn him to behave better.

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