TikTok has made a wide array of people famous who might never have achieved that fame without the platform's reach. Among those newly famous people is Lynn Yamada Davis, the woman behind the "Cooking with Lynja" TikTok video series. In January of 2024, an outpouring of love came through for Lynn on social media, leading many of her fans to wonder what happened to her.
Unfortunately, the woman known to her fans as Lynja has died. Here's everything we know about her death, and the circumstances surrounding it.
What happened to Lynja?
Lynn apparently died on Jan. 1 at Riverview Medical Center in New Jersey. Her daughter, Hannah Mariko Shofet, was the first to break the news, telling The New York Times that her mother had died.
Lynn was known for creating comically over-the-top, carefully edited videos on TikTok which were ostensibly focused on cooking. Thanks to those videos, Lynn amassed a following of more than 30 million people across her social media channels.
Lynn began posting these videos during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was also when TikTok was first really taking off as a platform. When her videos first started to achieve success, Lynn readily admitted that she had no idea what TikTok was until her son Tim began posting videos of her on the platform. Lynn may have been the star, but it seems she had her full family supporting her.
What was Lynn Yamada Davis's cause of death?
Lynn reportedly died of esophogeal cancer, a condition she was first diagnosed with in 2021, two years after she was diagnosed with throat cancer. Lynn was just 67 years old at the time of her death, and she now has millions of fans mourning her death, and the loss of the hugely entertaining videos she posted on a regular basis.
Lynn's family was responsible for the magic of her videos.
Lynn's TikTok started after her son set the goal of filming a video every day during the pandemic. That project eventually transformed into TikTok, which is where Lynn became the star that she was until her death.
“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,” Lynn explained of her son.
Prior to becoming a star on social media, Lynn was an engineer who earned her degree at MIT and then earned advanced degrees at Columbia University. She worked as a systems engineer and project manager for 29 years at AT&T Labs, finding plenty of success long before she was famous on TikTok.
“She had this whole chapter as a groundbreaking female engineer, and she was very proud of that,” her daughter told The New York Times. Lynn was also mother to two children and grandmother to four.
“It's definitely a big family affair for us, and it's very nice,” she said of her TikToks. “We have lots of family memories from this time. It’s just wonderful.”