Beginning a letter to the woman who spent her career giving flippant, funny, heartfelt advice to millions was like becoming a part of history. "Dear Abby" is quoted in movies, television shows and books too numerous to count. Her advice brought not only laughs and information, but an insight into the person that was Pauline Friedman Phillips, or as the world knew her, Abigail Van Buren.
Pauline had a twin sister who was also an advice columnist, known to the world as Ann Landers. The girls grew up in Sioux City, Iowa; but "Pauline's writing career that led to "Dear Abby" began in January 1956 when she was 37 and new to the Greater San Francisco Area."
The name "Abigail Van Buren" was "inspired by the Bible and a president. Her chosen first name was from the Old Testament for Abigail the widow of Nabel who later married King David. Her last name mirrored the last name of U.S. president Martin Van Buren," according to Wikipedia.
The last several years, Pauline suffered from Alzheimers and she died from natural causes. She was 94. We'll miss you, Abby. Thanks for the advice.
-Sad in New York City