'Dear Abby' Dead at 94
Pauline Phillips had been suffering from Alzheimer's
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2013 12:35 PM CST
Pauline Phillips is shown in a 1961 photo from Wikimedia Commons.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Pauline Phillips, perhaps better known as the popular "Dear Abby" advice columnist, died yesterday at age 94, a rep confirms to TMZ. Phillips, who founded the column in 1956 and eventually handed it over to her daughter Jeanne, had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. "I have lost my mother, my mentor, and my best friend," Jeanne says. "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 used the pen name Abigail Van Buren, after a wise woman named Abigail from the Bible's Old Testament and Martin Van Buren, one of her favorite presidents. Her twin sister, Ann Landers, was also an advice columnist; she died in 2002. "Dear Abby" had a daily readership of 100 million people.

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Jan 20, 2013 9:00 AM CST
I still remember one of her letters and the answer: "Dear Abby: People who write to you must be stupid or crazy. Signed: Steve" Her response? "Dear Steve: Which are you?"
Jan 17, 2013 11:40 PM CST
Dear Abbey, What can I do about all the jerkoffs who post on this site, other than me, of course? Never mind. I already know your answer. I read you for years and I loved your advice until it pertained to me. Anyway, thanks for the memories and the fun. I'll miss you. -- Lost in Jersey
Jan 17, 2013 11:38 PM CST
Jeanne,Please accept condolences from myself & my family on the loss of your mother. Dear Abby was & still is my favorite column in the newspaper. Pauline was an exceptional& gifted person & helped countless people solve their problems when they had no one to turn too. God Bless you.