Dear Abby: "What would you do with a man who refuses to use a deodorant, seldom bathes, and doesn't even own a toothbrush?"
"Absolutely nothing," she replied.
The wry answer from Abigail Van Buren — the pen name of Pauline Friedman Phillips — was typical of the advice she dispensed for more than 40 years to newspaper readers around the world through her "Dear Abby" column, which debuted in 1956 in the San Francisco Chronicle.
She got the bug to write it from her identical twin, who was already providing more homespun counsel in a syndicated newspaper column as Ann Landers. Over the decades, Phillips' witty exchanges with...