“Passing of Culinary Icon: Remembering Lynn Yamada Davis, Beloved ‘Internet Grandmother’ of ‘Cooking with Lynja’ Fame”

“Cooking with Lynja” star Lynn Yamada Davis, the TikTok creator known as “the internet’s grandma” and beloved for her quirky, educational cooking content, has died. Her youngest son and co-creator of her social media channels, Tim Davis, announced his mother’s death in videos posted online on Friday. “I’m super sad to inform you that unfortunately, Linda, my mom, has passed away,” Tim Davis said. Tim Davis told the New York Times that his mother asked him to continue posting unreleased content after her death, which is why her account remained active this month. In the most recent video, Tim Davis showed viewers photos of his mother throughout her life.

“Cooking with Lynja” star Lynn Yamada Davis, known as “the internet’s grandma,” has passed away at the age of 67. Davis, beloved for her quirky and educational cooking content on TikTok, died on January 1st after battling esophageal cancer. Her daughter, Hannah Mariko Shofet, confirmed her passing to the New York Times. Tim Davis, her youngest son and co-creator of her social media channels, announced her death through a video on Friday.

“I’m super sad to inform you that unfortunately, Linda, my mom, has passed away,” Tim Davis said. “Her final moments were super peaceful, and thankfully, she was surrounded by the people she loved most: her friends and family.”

A mother of four and grandmother of two, Davis gained a widespread following on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube with her cheerful demeanor and unique editing style. While she may have appeared as another maternal cooking show host, her exuberance and flamboyant visuals won over a younger audience. As one TikTok commenter put it, “on the outside this grandma looks like a boomer, but inside she’s straight up a zoomer.”

Prior to her passing, Davis had accumulated 17.8 million TikTok followers and nearly 10 million YouTube subscribers.

Although she was the face of the channel, Davis gave credit to her 27-year-old son, Tim, for her online success. The channel started as a pandemic project, with Tim asking his mom to record a cooking video every day to keep his editing skills sharp during lockdown. Davis, who had no prior knowledge of TikTok, told People magazine, “He’s the one who writes the script. He’s the one who does the videography. He does all the editing. So, he really is the genius behind Cooking with Lynja. I just show up.”

The mother-son duo rose to fame with a viral video in June 2020 featuring a recipe for bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, which received over 313,000 likes. As their following continued to grow with each viral recipe video and travel vlog, Davis also documented her fight with cancer. She was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2019 and later esophageal cancer in 2020. In a 2021 video showing viewers how to make cookies for healthcare workers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she shared with her audience, “I’m doing great, and I love making these videos for you.”

In 2022, Cooking with Lynja was awarded the Streamy Awards in the food and editing categories. That same year, Davis was also recognized as a Forbes’ 50 over 50 creator.

However, before she was an internet sensation, Davis was an accomplished engineer – a significant achievement for women of color at the time. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977 with a degree in civil engineering and went on to complete her master’s in business administration and public health at Columbia University. She worked in telecommunications for Bell Labs (now AT&T), according to her daughter’s interview with the New York Times.

But to many online, she will always be remembered as the internet’s grandma. In an emotional interview with the New York Times, Tim Davis shared his mother’s last wish asking him to continue posting unreleased content after her passing, which explains the recent activity on her account. The most recent video shows Tim reminiscing about his mother’s life, showcasing various photos of her throughout the years.

“She is so intelligent and elegant in this picture,” Tim Davis said in the video. “And when I think of my mom, this is who I think of. The internet’s grandma. She was the best. So glad that you guys all got to experience how wonderful of a person she was, and how you guys treated her so well. So thank you for these last couple of years, we had so much fun making videos.”

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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