Like many of you, this week we were saddened to hear of the death of Pauline Phillips, the woman behind the legendary column Dear Abby, who infused the advice column industry with some much needed spunk and tough love. To celebrate her legacy, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite advice-givers of all time, both fictional and non-fictional, but all culturally relevant. Check out our picks after the jump, and if we’ve missed your favorite mentor, add them on to our list (perhaps with a choice sage missive or two) in the comments.
“Dear Abby: I’m 19 years old and not very experienced, but my mother told me to be careful of men with mustaches. Is there any truth in this? Anita
Dear Anita: Yes … and also be careful of men without them.”
Witty, tongue-in-cheek and often acerbic, Dear Abby managed to be both funny and sympathetic, answering the queries of everyone from housewives to teenagers. As The New York Times put it, “It is difficult to overstate the column’s influence on American culture at midcentury and afterward: in popular parlance, Dear Abby was for decades an affectionate synonym for a trusted, if slightly campy, confidante.” Now we try to (sort of) approximate her with Ask Tina.