"Dear Abby" columnist Pauline Phillips, who starting in 1956 under the
pen name Abigail van Buren began giving some 90 million newspaper
readers advice on everything from Civil Rights to dating, died Wednesday
in Minneapolis, said a family spokesperson. She was 94.
"My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of
compassion, commitment and positive social change," said daughter Jeanne
Phillips. "I will honor her memory every day by continuing this
For years Phillips had suffered with Alzheimer's disease, the first
signs of which began showing in the mid-1990s. By then, she and Jeanne
were writing the column together, until such time in 2002 that Pauline
could no longer handle the task and Jeanne took over the family's advice
Among the many remarkable facts about Phillips (who took the
name Abigail from the Bible and the surname from President Martin Van
Buren) is that her identical twin sister, Esther "Eppie" Lederer, was in
the same line of work – as columnist Ann Landers.
spokesman for McGovern's family, Steve Hildebrand, told The Associated
Press by telephone that McGovern died at 5:15 a.m. Sunday at a hospice
in Sioux Falls, surrounded by family and lifelong friends.
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