|Dear Abby, circa 1961
Friday, January 18, 2013
Dear Abby, Ann, Prudence, Caroline, and Amy
The world has lost an American cultural icon. Pauline Phillips, a.k.a. Dear Abby, the grand dame of advise columnists, passed away this week at the ripe old age of 94. Growing up, I remember my grandmother reading Dear Abby's column in our local newspaper and tsk-tsking about the questions posed by writers. From "modern" decorum inquiries and workplace dilemmas to the age old issues of wedding etiquette and dealing with in-laws, Abby's column addressed them all. Her answers were insightful, sometimes terse, and often laced with humor. Her column first hit the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1956 before eventually becoming syndicated and reaching a broad audience of everyone from confused teenagers to disenchanted housewives and harried professionals. Being an advice columnist ran in the family; Phillips' twin sister was the late Ann Landers of Dear Ann Landers fame and today the Dear Abby column continues with letters being answered by Phillips' own daughter Jeanne.