With a worldwide readership of more than 110 million, Dear Abby has a devoted following who wouldn't dream of starting each day without her. The most widely syndicated columnist in the world and a true household name, Dear Abby is well-known for sound, compassionate advice, delivered with the straightforward style of a good friend. Share a laugh, shed a tear or learn something new every day with Dear Abby.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, whose career as an advice columnist began at the age of 14. Seeking a little extra spending money, Phillips' mother asked, "How do you intend to earn it?" Her mother, Pauline Phillips, had more in mind than the usual household chores. She had recently started writing a nationally syndicated advice column under the pseudonym Abigail Van Buren. A deal was struck, beginning a lifelong partnership.
As she helped her mother answer incoming letters from advice-seeking teens, Phillips discovered that she truly loved the work. She wrote for the column behind the scenes until December 2000, when Pauline Phillips recognized Jeanne Phillips as co-creator of Dear Abby and officially retired.
Today, Phillips dispenses advice, offers comfort (or a reality check) and settles disputes with the same mix of wit and wisdom that endeared her mother to millions of readers and turned Dear Abby into a cultural icon. The times have changed, but Dear Abby's appeal hasn't. Nor have the issues and irritations that fill Phillips' mailbox and inbox.
Cheating spouses, angst-ridden teens, bossy mothers-in-law and annoying neighbors share space with stories of everyday kindness and heartbreaking tragedy. It's Phillips' unique ability to read between the lines and respond knowledgeably with compassion and humor that wins her the loyalty of her millions of fans.
Recognizing the honest and valuable advice Phillips has provided to readers, she has received awards from the National Office of Drug Policy, American Academy of Dermatology for excellence in public education of dermatology issues, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Overeaters Anonymous and the national Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program. She is the recipient of the 2015 Proxmire Award for leadership in public awareness of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and the Hearing Loss Association of America's 2015 Walter T. Ridder Award. In 2007, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) honored Phillips with the "Straight for Equality" Award for her support of equality.
Phillips is one of few laypersons ever to be granted a prestigious Life Consultant membership in the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), an organization of nationally respected psychiatrists dedicated to shaping psychiatric thinking, public programs and clinical practice in mental health. In addition, Phillips sat on the Board of Judges for the Talbots Charitable Foundation Women's Scholarship Fund, as well as the Advisory Boards of the National Alzheimer's Association, the Children's Rights Council, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Kidney Foundation.
Multiple generations of newspaper readers have turned to Dear Abby for counsel and advice, and she remains beloved and relatable to the digital era with a devoted online following. Phillips has been profiled in The New York Times and featured on "The Steve Harvey Show" and KTLA in Los Angeles recently. In addition, Phillips has embraced social media, exchanging with her fans using the @DearAbby Twitter handle and #dearabby hashtag.