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Pauline Esther (Friedman) Phillips (July 4, 1918 – January 16, 2013)

Pauline Phillips is better known as Abigail Van Buren or “Dear Abby.” Her twin sister, Ester Pauline Friedman would later become Ann Landers. Both twins wrote a joint advice column for their college newspaper while attending Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa where they were born and raised. They also married in a double wedding ceremony on their birthday in 1939.

In 1956, after recently moving to the greater San Francisco area, she phoned up the editor of the “San Francisco Chronicle” and told him she could write a better advice column than what she had been reading. The editor gave her a chance; he gave her some letters and asked her to bring her replies back in a week. Phillips was back in an hour and a half! She was hired that very day. She took on the pen name Abigail Van Buren.

In 2002, Phillips’ daughter Jeanne took over the writing for “Dear Abby.” In 2013, at the age of 94 and after years of suffering from Alzheimer’s, Phillips died. She was survived by her husband of 73 (!) years, Morton Phillips, daughter Jeanne Phillips, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Phillips also had a son, Edward, who had died in 2011 at age 66.

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