'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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