'Dear Abby' founder dies at 94
Pauline Phillips, right, and daughter Jeanne Phillips are honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2001.
January 17th, 2013
02:20 PM ET

'Dear Abby' founder dies at 94

Pauline Phillips, better known to millions of newspaper readers for decades as the Dear Abby advice columnist, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease, her family said Thursday.

She died Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at age 94.

Phillips, who wrote under the name of Abigail Van Buren, was the twin sister of Esther Pauline Lederer, also known as the advice columnist Ann Landers. Lederer died in June 2002 at the age of 83.

In 2001, Phillips acknowledged that her daughter Jeanne Phillips co-wrote the "Dear Abby" column with her. Jeanne Phillips took the column over in August 2002, when the family announced that her mother had Alzheimer's.


Filed under: Obituary
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. ValenzMom

    My condolences to her family. I have been reading her column all my life and have learned many valuable lessons from it (and gotten lots of good recipes, too). Abby, along with her sister Ann Landers, gave us the no-nonsense advice and reminders that we all still need today – be kind to your elders, always send thank you notes, the customer is always right, etc. I hope that her column continues to be run in all newspapers so that these things won't ever be forgotten by any generation.

    January 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mona

      Sadly no one seems to care about common sense solutions any longer. May they RIP. Such intelligent women.

      January 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. WVLady63

    Bless your soul Abby! My Mother never missed reading your column and when I grew up I continued to read it. You answered many questions I needed answers to. My Mother cut out a myriad of articles and mailed them to me, I still have them, they were for future reference. God Bless your soul Pauline Phillips, you WILL be missed!

    January 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mona

    I'M lolG. You are a real comedy act!

    January 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don

    2 slaps with a wet noodle.

    January 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. widow

    Sad.. But great at the same time.. This woman lived a wonderful long life helping millions of people. She was a woman with great morals and values and her common sense logical approach to serious issues won her millions of fans over every week. She was a true american who exposed the true meaning of life in every column she wrote. She helped millions. RIP and may the heavens welcome you with open arms.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JB

    Both sisters give us sensible advice in an insensible world and that was no easy task. May they both rest in peace, hopefully knowing their good intentions will outlive them.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Josh

    My Dearest Abby,

    Your life touched so many others.


    January 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laura

    Rest in peace dear Lady and condolences to her family. I loved the collumn many years. I have an aunt who is
    the same age,and hopefully she makes it to 95 in March. God Bless.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jen

    God is the only one who can help us with problems. Noone fears God any more. That is why America has so many problems. God is taken out of everything.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I don't know what that has to do with anything; but....

      RIP, Pauline.

      January 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

      January 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ Jen, couldn't agree with you more. There are those though that have helped me through the years; others whom follow God.

      January 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ Jen, couldn't agree with you more...

      January 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      January 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. EatRunDive

    May we all find the ability to perform such good works in our own lifetimes.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. someone


    January 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michael

    I remember as a young boy my mother would read the Dear Abby columns almost daily and draw strength from those. I would truly have to say that a little part of our American History has now passed. God Bless you and your family!

    January 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mindy

    What brilliant advice i have learned from this wonderful intelligent lady... You will be missed but not forgotten..thank you for your many years of service.RIP

    January 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LizzyV

    94. Such a long life.
    No kidding.
    Dear Aby,
    My future mother-in-law is 94. Should I still wait to marry her son since she said "only over my dead body"?
    my fiancee and I will both be 6O this year.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Larry

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China ?

    January 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
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