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Dear Abby

Dear Abby is the name of the popular advice column founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name Abigail Van Buren. The column became a big success in an era when newspaper readers sought straight-talking, pithy advice about marriages, children, jobs and a variety of subjects on human relations. Dear Abby is syndicated in more than 1,200 newspapers, and read by millions of people on a daily basis.

Phillips came up with the pen name of Abigail Van Buren, shortened to "Dear Abby, by combining the name of the biblical figure Abigail, the wise woman in the Old Testament, with the last name of Van Buren, one of her favorite U.S. Presidents - Martin Van Buren.

Phillips solely wrote the advice column until 2000, when she and daughter Jeanne began sharing the byline. A similar column, Ask Ann Landers, was written from 1955 to 2002 by Phillips' twin sister Eppie Lederer.

Pauline Phillips, the original Dear Abby advice columnist, died on January 16 2013 at age 94 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

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