Pauline Phillips, an advice columnist who wrote the Dear Abby column under the name Abigail Van Buren, has died at the age of 94. Phillips passed away Wednesday in Minneapolis after more than 10 years of suffering from Alzheimer’s.
“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,” Phillips’ daughter Jeanne said in a statement.
Phillips was 37 when she began her career by contacting the San Francisco Chronicle and telling editors she could write a better advice column. The first Dear Abby column was published in January 1956. It went on to appear in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide. More than 95 million people read Dear Abby every day. Towards the end of her 46 year career, Phillips co-wrote Dear Abby with her daughter. Jeanne took over in 2002 after Phillips’ retirement.
Phillips’ twin sister Eppie Lederer also wrote an advice column under the name Ann Landers. Lederer died in 2002.
In addition to Jeanne and son Eddie, Phillips is survived by her husband of 73 years Mort Phillips.