'Dear Abby' advice columnist dies at age 94

"Dear Abby" advice columnist Pauline Phillips, 82, known to millions of readers as Abigail van Buren, signs autographs for some of dozens of fans after the dedication of a "Dear Abby" star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2001, in Los Angeles. "Dear Abby" is read by over 95 million people daily in more than 1,250 newspapers, and was also a CBS network radio show for 12 years. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

January 17, 2013 11:05:01 AM PST
Pauline Friedman Phillips, who under the name of Abigail Van Buren wrote the long-running "Dear Abby" advice column, has died. She was 94.

Publicist Gene Willis of Universal Uclick says Phillips died Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

By the time her family revealed she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2002, her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who had helped her mother with the Dear Abby column for years, was its sole author.

Phillips' column competed for decades with the advice column of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer. Their relationship was stormy in their early adult years, but later they regained the close relationship they had growing up in Sioux City, Iowa.

Landers died in June 2002.