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‘Dear Abby’ finally stops giving advice

Home - by - January 18, 2013 - 11:00 America/New_York - 16 Comments

 ’Dear Abby’ advice columnist dies at age 94

MINNEAPOLIS     (AP) — Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as Dear Abby dispensed snappy, sometimes saucy advice on love, marriage and meddling mothers-in-law to millions of newspaper readers around the world and opened the way for the likes of Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil and Oprah, has died. She was 94.

Phillips died Wednesday in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, said Gene Willis, a publicist for the Universal Uclick syndicate.

“My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change,” her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who now writes the column, said in a statement.

Private funeral services were held Thursday, Willis said.

The long-running “Dear Abby” column first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1956. Mother and daughter started sharing the byline in 2000, and Jeanne Phillips took over in 2002, when the family announced Pauline Phillips had Alzheimer’s disease.

Pauline Phillips wrote under the name Abigail Van Buren. Her column competed for decades with the advice of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer, who died in 2002. Their relationship was stormy in their early adult years, but they later regained the closeness they had growing up in Sioux City, Iowa.

The two columns differed in style. Ann Landers responded to questioners with homey, detailed advice. Abby’s replies were often flippant and occasionally risqué one-liners, like some of those collected for her 1981 book “The Best of Dear Abby.”

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» 16 Comments

  1. jeckelmyhyde

    January 18th, 2013

    Dear Abby,
    I am a 54 year old small business owner who is being taxed into oblivion, and regulated to the point that I need to hire 2 additional employees just to handle the additional paperwork the government is demanding. My insurance cost have gone through the roof and I am finding it very difficult to afford the cost of keeping the employees I currently have. Can you give me some advice about what I can get my wife for her birthday.

    Frustrated from Topeka

    Noteworthy Comment Thumb up +10

     
  2. Jerry Manderin

    January 18th, 2013

    Dear Abby,

    I have recently lost someone very dear to me. For the first time in my life I am experiencing the hurt, the pain, and the loss that accompanies losing someone. I can’t stop the tears. I am in desperate need of some advice on how to deal with death. Do you have any sugggest…

    Wait. Nevermind.

    Sorry In Duluth

    Thumb up +5

     
  3. Saxindacity

    January 18th, 2013

    An old favorite song –

    John Prine Dear Abby Lyrics
    Dear abby, dear abby …
    My feet are too long
    My hair’s falling out and my rights are all wrong
    My friends they all tell me that I’ve no friends at all
    Won’t you write me a letter, won’t you give me a call
    Signed bewildered

    Bewildered, bewildered…

    Chorus:
    You have no complaint
    You are what your are and you ain’t what you ain’t
    So listen up buster, and listen up good
    Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood

    Dear abby, dear abby…
    My fountain pen leaks
    My wife hollers at me and my kids are all freaks
    Every side I get up on is the wrong side of bed
    If it weren’t so expensive I’d wish I were dead
    Signed unhappy

    Unhappy, unhappy…

    Repeat chorus

    Dear abby, dear abby…
    You won’t believe this
    But my stomach makes noises whenever I kiss
    My girlfriend tells me it’s all in my head
    But my stomach tells me to write you instead
    Signed noise-maker

    Noise-maker, noise-maker

    Repeat chorus

    Dear abby, dear abby…
    Well I never thought
    That me and my girlfriend would ever get caught
    We were sitting in the back seat just shooting the breeze
    With her hair up in curlers and her pants to her knees
    Signed just married

    Just married, just married…

    Repeat chorus

    Thumb up +6

     
  4. Left Coast Dan

    January 18th, 2013

    Nation Descends Into Utter Moral Chaos Following ‘Dear Abby’ Writer’s Death:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/nation-descends-into-utter-moral-chaos-following-d,30946/

    Thumb up +5

     
  5. jeckelmyhyde

    January 18th, 2013

    @Saxindacity
    Good call, and it is a Big Ole Goofy World.

    Thumb up +4

     
  6. Billy Fuster

    January 18th, 2013

    Dear Frustrated,

    Quit paying taxes and following regulations.

    Abby

    Thumb up +4

     
  7. bitterclinger

    January 18th, 2013

    One of my girlfiends and I used to imitate Dear “Abey” (as Archie Bunker used to call her) when we were roaming the halls of our Catholic Highschool in the late ’70s.

    Since Abey had ill-fitting dentures, she often sounded like Daffy Duck with lockjaw. One of our favorite cornball lines of hers was: Thanksh for a dandy day brightener!

    Thumb up +5

     
  8. Ann Landers

    January 18th, 2013

    Hahahaha! About time!
    I’d be danshing on your grave if I could. You bitsch!

    Mom always like you besht!
    And by the way, your advishe shucked!

    Thumb up +3

     
  9. Ya sure

    January 18th, 2013

    Minimize her all you want, but I’d take her over Oprah, Jerry Springer, Maury, etc, etc, AD NAUSEUM…. … in a NY minute.

    Some people actually NEED a dose of her common sense.
    RIP, Ms. Phillips.

    Thumb up +6

     
  10. jeckelmyhyde

    January 18th, 2013

    Dear Abby,
    I took your advice and stopped paying my taxes and deposited all the government regulations into the shredder. I was able to save some money by not having to do the additional new hires and I was feeling much better about my company and its future. I am writing you today from Levenworth Kansas to ask if you know of any good banana pudding recipes I can share with my new cellmate Clarence from Odessa.

    Frustrated formally from Topeka

    Thumb up +6

     
  11. IMPEACH Obama

    January 18th, 2013

    If Dear Abby, could hear me, I’d seek her advise on how we can get that communist out of the WH.
    One by one, nearly all now admit that he is what he is, but no one seems willing to summon the fortitude to get that unqualified enemy domestic, out of the seat of power.

    I know you won’t go out on a limb on religion, Abby, but could you please PRAY for our country nonetheless?

    Thumb up +1

     
  12. Tim

    January 18th, 2013

    Dear Abby,
    RIP

    Thumb up +2

     
  13. Blink

    January 18th, 2013

    Saxindacity. Ya beat me to it. The John Prine song was the first thing I though of when I heard of Abby’s passing. A live recording
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mqDsuhnnRk .
    Abby an old friend discovered in an Italian newspaper.

    Thumb up 0

     
  14. The Finisher

    January 18th, 2013

    Dear Abby,

    My advice…. rest in peace.

    Thumb up +2

     
  15. the aardvark

    January 18th, 2013

    Ya just gotta love John Prine singing Dear Abby, one of my favorite John Prine songs.

    Thumb up 0

     
  16. the aardvark

    January 18th, 2013

    Best John Prine song ever, In Spite Of Ourselves with Iris Dement. Great song and great video.

    Thumb up 0