CNN reported earlier today that Pauline Phillips, better known to millions of newspaper readers as the original Dear Abby advice columnist, has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, her family said Thursday.
She died Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at age 94.
Try Dear Crabby’s weekly column here www.dearcrabby.org or in The Oakland Press.
Phillips’ columns were published in an era when newspaper readers began to prize straight-talking, pithy advice about marriages, children, jobs — just about anything that troubled people.
Phillips wrote under the pen name of Abigail Van Buren, shortened to “Dear Abby” in newspapers. “Abigail” was taken from the wise woman in the Old Testament and “Van Buren” was one of her favorite presidents.
The first Dear Abby column appeared in 1956, and Phillips solely wrote the advice feature until 2000, when she and daughter Jeanne began sharing the byline.
Jeanne Phillips took the column over full time in August 2002, when the family announced that Pauline Phillips had Alzheimer’s.
“I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend,” Jeanne Phillips said in a statement. “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.”
Pauline Phillips strove to say more with less. Her direct style was captured in her favorite Swedish toast, according to the column’s syndication service:
“Fear less; hope more. Eat less; chew more. Talk less; say more. Hate less; love more.”