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by Abigail Van Buren

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.

About the Author

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, whose career as an advice columnist began early. When Jeanne was 14 and needed a little extra spending money, her 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, PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) honored Phillips with its first "Straight for Equality" Award for her support of LGBT equality.

Working with the Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration, Phillips has regularly assisted in providing important information to her readers on a variety of topics to improve their daily lives. Her impact in this endeavor was recognized with multiple entries in the Congressional Record. In addition, she has been an Ambassador and National Supporter of the National Women’s Health Week of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.

In 2018, Phillips received a PhD from Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. 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.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists honored Phillips in 2016, and in 2017 she founded the annual Dear Abby College Columnist Scholarship Contest to recognize talented college newspaper columnists.

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," “Extra” and “Entertainment Tonight” recently. In addition, Phillips has embraced social media, exchanging with her fans on Instagram and Twitter (@DearAbby) and on Facebook.