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Pauline Phillps, who wrote the Dear Abby column before turning those duties over to her daughter Jeanne in 2002, died Wednesday at age 94. (Reuters)

Original Dear Abby has died

Pauline Phillips, the "Dear Abby" newspaper columnist who dished out advice to millions of confused, troubled and lovesick readers in America and around the world, has died at the age of 94, her daughter said Thursday.

Phillips, whose twin sister Esther wrote the rival "Ann Landers" column, died in Minneapolis Wednesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

"I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend," daughter Jeanne Phillips, the current Dear Abby, said in a statement released by the syndicator of the column, Universal Uclick.

"My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day by continuing this legacy," Jeanne Phillips said.

Phillips' family announced in August 2002 that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Phillips had brought daughter Jeanne in to collaborate on the syndicated newspaper column in 1987 and in December 2002 turned over all responsibility for it to her.


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