Divabetic Loves Dear Abby
Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as Dear Abby dispensed snappy, sometimes saucy advice on love, marriage and meddling mothers-in-law to millions of newspaper readers around the world and opened the way for the likes of Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil and Oprah, has died. She was 94.
I used to read her column daily in the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper when I was growing up in Rochester, NY.
Phillips died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, said Gene Willis, a publicist for the Universal Uclick syndicate.
“My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change,” her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who now writes the column, said in a statement.
The long-running “Dear Abby” column first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1956. Mother and daughter started sharing the byline in 2000, and Jeanne Phillips took over in 2002, when the family announced Pauline Phillips had Alzheimer’s disease.
Pauline Phillips wrote under the name Abigail Van Buren. Her column competed for decades with the advice of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer, who died in 2002. Their relationship was stormy in their early adult years, but they later regained the closeness they had growing up in Sioux City, Iowa.
The two columns differed in style. Ann Landers responded to questioners with homey, detailed advice. Abby’s replies were often flippant one-liners.
Phillips admitted that her advice changed over the years. When she started writing the column, she was reluctant to advocate divorce :
“I always thought that marriage should be forever,” she explained. “I found out through my readers that sometimes the best thing they can do is part. If a man or woman is a constant cheater, the situation can be intolerable. Especially if they have children. When kids see parents fighting, or even sniping at each other, I think it is terribly damaging.” (I wonder what she would say about Kim Kardashian?)
She willingly expressed views that she realized would bring protests. In a 1998 interview she remarked: “Whenever I say a kind word about gays, I hear from people, and some of them are damn mad. People throw Leviticus, Deuteronomy and other parts of the Bible to me. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve always been compassionate toward gay people.”
Watch News Yorkers try to identify the healthiest treat from three Serve, Taste or Trash! Food Game choices bought at a convenience store. You might be surprised by the results.
Diabetes & Exercise? What real women living with diabetes have to say about blood sugars, marathons and motivation with Mr. Divabetic
TUNE IN: Free to Diabetes Roundtable podcast Inspired by Rihanna with guests: Neva White DNP, CRNP, CDE, Connie Frazier RD, CDE, Patricia Addie-Gentle RN, CDE, author Elsie Spruill, poet Lorraine Brooks, hairstylist and makeup artist Charlene Wilson, Mama Rose Marie and Allison from Jersey City, NJ living with diabetes http://www.blogtalkradio.com/divatalkradio1/2013/01/08/diabetes-roundtable-inspired-by-rihanna
’Movie Girl Workouts’ with Mr. Divabetic and fitness expert, Katherine Adamenko
Experience Mr. Divabetic’s wellness with a wow programming in Tucson, AZ, Santa Clara, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Savannah, GA and Bethesda, MD in 2013. Get more details at www.divabetic.org