‘Dear Abby’ dead at 94
Pauline Friedman Phillips, also known as Abigail Van Buren, who wrote the long running “Dear Abby” advice column, died yesterday.
According to her publicist Gene Willis of Universal Uclick, Phillips died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Both Phillips’ and her sister, Esther Friedman Lederer, better known as Ann Landers, wrote advice columns and were followed by millions of newspaper readers. The two had a strained relationship in the beginning, but later mended their ways. Ann Landers died in 2002.
Ann Landers responded to letter-writers in a friendly manner, giving detailed advice, while Abby preferred more pointed one-liners.
Realizing her impact on people, Abby said in a 1998 interview, “Whenever I say a kind word about gays, I hear from people, and some of them are damn mad. People throw Leviticus, Deuteronomy and other parts of the Bible at me. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve always been compassionate toward gay people.”
If any letters she received sounded suicidal, Abby was known for picking up the phone and contacting people directly.
Phillip’s daughter, Jeanne Phillips, carries on the advice column under the pen name Dear Abby.