Jewish Women on the Map - Sioux City, Iowa - Birthplace of Twin Advice Columnists
Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer and Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips were born seventeen minutes apart in Sioux City on July 4, 1918. The world has come to know them as the advice columnists Ann Landers and Abigail van Buren (Dear Abby). Raised in Sioux City, the sisters were in their late thirties before first Esther, then Pauline, entered the advice business. Esther, known as Eppie Lederer, won a contest to replace the original author of the "Ask Ann Landers" column for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1955.
When Lederer began writing the column, her sister contributed by reading some of the letters and suggesting answers. The Sun-Times, however, forbade the partnership, and Phillips (known as Popo) soon decided to write her own column. Phillips' column "Dear Abby" took off, and soon became the chief rival to "Ann Landers".