Pauline Esther Friedman was born July 4, 1918, along with her twin sister,
The Dear Abby column was launched with the San Francisco Chronicle in the mid-1950s. By then, she had been married to Morton Phillips for more than a decade; the couple had two children. Phillips was the son of a wealthy family, and Dear Abby was often written from a home office in Beverly Hills.
In 1987, daughter Jeanne began working on the column, eventually taking over writing duties after her mother became incapacitated. She continues writing under the Dear Abby banner.