Founded in 1956, Dear Abby is an American advice column that offers advice to readers facing issues with marriage, friendship, or parenthood.
Dear Abby was founded in 1956 by Pauline Philips. Over the years, it has become a household name in America and reportedly had 110 million readers in 2016. After Pauline retired from her work, she passed on this column to her daughter Jeanne Phillips, who now writes under the pseudonym Abigail Van Buren.
When Jeanne was 14 years old she needed some extra money for herself. Her mother Pauline asked her whether she has a plan on how to earn that extra money. Jeanne could not give a definite answer at that point, but that was not an issue because Pauline already had a job in mind for her daughter.
At that time, Pauline had started this column and she received daily mails from mothers, wives, and teenagers who had written down their problems to seek advice. So Pauline encouraged her daughter to start working with her. With time, Pauline realized that her daughter genuinely liked the work.
In December 2002, Jeanne received public recognition for being the co-creator of Dear Abby and her mother retired from work. Since then, Dear Abby has only gone on to become more famous than before.
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Friendship feuds, cheating in a marriage, and how to be a better parent are only a few of the topics that the readers have asked for advice on. The fame of the column essentially lies in how the mother-daughter pair has consistently imparted thoughtful and honest advice to readers over so many years.
Jeanne has received many awards for her work so far from various institutions like the National Office of Drug Policy, the American Academy of Dermatology, and the Proxmire Award for leadership in public awareness. She has also received a Ph.D. from Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina.