Abigail  Van Buren

Abigail Van Buren

Jeanne Phillips, also known as Abigail Van Buren, has written the advice column “Dear Abby” since 2000, responding knowledgeably with the wit and compassion that earns her the loyalty of millions of fans. She’s the daughter of Pauline Esther Phillips, who founded “Dear Abby’’ in 1956. Jeanne Phillips began assisting her mother with the column at the age of 14, supplying advice for inquiring teens, and discovering that she loved the work. She co-wrote the column until 2002, when she assumed the role herself. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and lived in Wisconsin and California during her formative years. At the University of Colorado and UCLA she studied anthropology, and she holds a PhD from Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina. Phillips is one of few laypersons ever to be granted a prestigious Life Consultant membership in the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), an organization of nationally respected psychiatrists. She’s received awards from the National Office of Drug Policy, American Academy of Dermatology, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Overeaters Anonymous and the national Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program. She is the recipient of the 2015 Proxmire Award for leadership in public awareness of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and the Hearing Loss Association of America's 2015 Walter T. Ridder Award. In 2007, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) honored Phillips with its first "Straight for Equality" Award for her support of LGBT equality.