Dear Abby creator, Pauline Phillips, passes away at 94

Dear Abby creator Pauline Phillips

The creator of one of the most successful advice columns in print history, Pauline Phillips, has passed away at the age of 94.

Phillips started her “Dear Abby” work under the pen name Abigail Van Buren in 1956. Her column appeared in over 1,200 papers and reached an estimated 90 million readers.

Her career started at the age of 37 when she contacted the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle to tell them she could do better with their advice column. Her first byline appeared Jan. 9, 1956.

Her son Eddie Phillips recalled to ABC:

“They gave her a bunch of letters, thinking that, that they would never see her again – and she immediately took all of the letters to my dad’s nearby office and whipped out answers and had answers back the same day. That knocked them off their feet.”

One of the many astounding facts about Pauline is that her identical twin sister, Esther “Eppie” Lederer, also became a giant in the same filed under the name Ann Landers. Her daughter Jeanie, who took over the Dear Abby column in 2002, said the following about the legend that was her mom:

“My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day by continuing this legacy.”

In honor of a true American giant, here’s a list of 10 quotes attributed to Pauline Phillips:

Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with old age. Nothing does — except wrinkles. It’s true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place.

Fear less, hope more. Eat less, chew more. Talk less, say more. Hate less, love more, and never underestimate the power of forgiveness.

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

Leaving a price tag on a gift implies that the giver is also “giving” the recipient a burden of gratitude. And the burden of gratitude can weigh so heavily that it diminishes the pleasure of receiving a gift.

The church is not a museum for saints it’s a hospital for sinners.

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good.

Three strikes and a man is out, no matter how good his pitches.

The less you talk, the more you’re listened to.

People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.

If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.

Phillips is survived by her two children, her husband of 73 years Mort Phillips, four grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.