‘Dear Abby’ Columnist Dies at 94

Pauline Phillips -- Dear Abby -- in 2001. 
Fred Prouser /Reuters /Landov

Pauline Phillips -- Dear Abby -- in 2001. Fred Prouser /Reuters /Landov

Pauline Friedman Phillips, better known as “Dear Abby” to millions of newspaper readers, died Wednesday (Jan. 16) at the age of 94.

Publicist Gene Willis of Universal Uclick said Phillips died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to multiple reports.

Phillips was diagnosed with the disease in 2002. By then, her daughter Jeanne, had taken over the column.

Her career began in Jan. 1956, according to the author’s Wikipedia page, when she phone the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle saying she could write a better advice column than the one she’d been reading in the newspaper.

Phillips’ column competed for years with one penned by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer, better known as “Ann Landers.” Landers died in June 2002 at the age of 83.

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