LOS ANGELES, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The women who wrote under the name of "Dear Abby" to offer advices to millions of troubled newspaper readers in the United States died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease in Minneapolis, Minnesota, her publicist said on Thursday. She was 94.
Pauline Phillips, writing under the name of Abigail Van Buren which was shortened to "Dear Abby" since 1956, was one of the most popular columnists in the world as her terse, comic and sympathetic pieces were run by 1,400 newspapers with a daily readership of over 110 million.
The housewife-turned-columnist named her advice column after " Abigail," a wise woman in the Old Testament and one of her favorite U.S. presidents, "Van Buren."
Phillips' first feature appeared in 1956 and the column, which became more popular, run until 2002 when the author suffered from the onset of Alzheimer's disease and her daughter Jeanne Philips took over.
In the meantime, Phillips' twin sister Eppie Lederer also wrote a similar column, "Ask Ann Landers," from 1955 until 2002 when she died at 83 of multiple myeloma.
Born on July 4, 1918 in the Sioux City, Iowa, the then 37-year- old housewife started her career at the San Francisco Chronicle in 1955. Her first column feature appeared on Jan. 9, 1956, and was syndicated in the same year.
Phillips advocated "equal rights for women, minorities, people with mental illness and those who are physically challenged," and her column "promoted AIDS awareness and education, hospice care, the living will, organ donation and also raised awareness about gender apartheid suffered by women in Afghanistan," the Universal Uclick syndicate said.
When asked what she considered her greatest accomplishment, Phillips was quick to say simply, "surviving".
She always enjoyed quoting a favorite Swedish toast: "Fear less; hope more. Eat less; chew more. Talk less; say more. Hate less; love more."
The columnist, who was also a popular radio host, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in honor of her radio show.