Dear Abby is dead. Pauline Phillips, born Pauline Esther Friedman, the founder of the Dear Abby column has died at the age of 94. People have sobbed their hearts out and relied upon Dear Abby and her twin sister Ann Landers, born Esther Pauline Phillips, to help them deal with problems since 1954. It is not unusual to hear the expression, ‘she’s a real Dear Abby’ which means that the person referenced is one to whom people tell their personal problems and then rely upon the advice they receive.
Dear Abby and her sister Ann Landers were born the twin daughters of Jewish Russian immigrants and grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. Although Dear Abby has not been written by Pauline herself for many years she lives on through the helpful and sound advice she gave to millions of people. Pauline used the pen name Abigail Van Buren. She used the name “Abigail” from the Old Testament wise woman and “Van Buren” was adopted in honor of one of her favorite presidents.
A rep for Phillips says that Pauline had been battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Pauline’s daughter, Jeanne took over the “Dear Abby” column made a statement: “I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend,” adding, “My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion,commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day by continuing this legacy.”
“Dear Abby” first appeared in print in 1956 — and eventually grew to a daily readership of 100 MILLION.
Rest In Peace Pauline Esther Friedman, our Dear Abby.