Pauline Phillips

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Pauline Phillips (born July 4, 1918) is a American advice columnist and radio show host who began the "Dear Abby" column in 1956. Married to Morton Phillips, the couple has two children, a son, Edward Jay Phillips, and a daughter, Jeanne Phillips.[1]

By 2002, when Phillips suffered from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, her daughter, Jeanne, assumed all the writing responsibilities of Dear Abby. After the family's announcement of Pauline's illness, Jeanne assumed the pen name Abigail Van Buren; from 1987 until her mother's retirement, Jeanne had been co-writing the column with her mother.[1][2]



Pauline Esther Friedman was born an identical twin; her sister, Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer, wrote the Ann Landers column from 1955 until her death from multiple myeloma in 2002, at age 83. Their parents, Russian Jewish immigrants, settled in Sioux City, Iowa where they grew up. The girls went by the nicknames "Popo" (Pauline) and "Eppie" (Esther). Both are alumnae of Central High School [3] ("The Castle on the Hill") in Sioux City and Morningside College; the two sisters also wrote for the college newspaper. In 1939, they were married in a joint wedding ceremony on their birthday.[4]

An honorary member of Women in Communications, the American College of Psychiatrists, and the National Council of Jewish Women, Phillips is the author of six books: Dear Abby, Dear Teenager, Dear Abby on Marriage, Where Were You When President Kennedy was Shot?, The Dear Abby Wedding Planner, and The Best of Dear Abby. "The Dear Abby Show" aired on the CBS Radio Network for 12 years. (Source: Universal Press Syndicate historical files.)


Dear Abby's story began in January 1956, when Pauline, a 37-year-old newcomer to the Greater San Francisco Area, phoned the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and said that she could write a better advice column than the one she had been reading in the newspaper. [1]

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