Advice columnist Dear Abby, also known as Pauline Phillips, poses after her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled February 14, 2001 in Hollywood. Phillips and her daughter Jeanne Phillips, who co-writes the column were honored with the star. Dear Abby is read by over 95 million persons daily in 1,250 newspapers. (Photo : Reuters)
The world said good-bye to the renowned writer and creator of the "Dear Abby" advice column, which was read by over 95 million in 1,250 newspapers on a daily basis.
It was written by Pauline Friedman Phillips under the name Abigail Van Buren or "Abby" for short. Philips suffered from a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 94.
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Phillips' "Dear Abby" column evolved over time, and it competed with the advice column of Ann Landers, which was written by her twin sister Esther Friedman Lederer. Lederer passed away in 2002, the same year that their family revealed that Philips had Alzheimer's. Around that time, her daughter took over the advice column using the same name.
"I always thought that marriage should be forever," said Philips. "I found out through my readers that sometimes the best thing they can do is part. If a man or woman is a constant cheater, the situation can be intolerable. Especially if they have children. When kids see parents fighting, or even sniping at each other, I think it is terribly damaging."
Philips was also always an advocate for gay rights. During an interview in 1998, she explained why she dismissed the negative feedback she received toward gays. "Whenever I say a kind word about gays, I hear from people, and some of them are damn mad. People throw Leviticus, Deuteronomy and other parts of the Bible to me. It doesn't bother me. I've always been compassionate toward gay people."
In addition to the column, Phillips became a best-selling author and hosted a radio version of "Dear Abby" from 1963 to 1975.