Ann Landers

Ann Landers counseled millions of readers through her popular advice column for over forty years on issues from the growing pains of adolescence to the grief of widowhood with wit, humor, kindness, and good sense. Half of a pair of twins, Landers was born Esther Pauline Friedman and had a double wedding with her sister Pauline Esther in 1938. Upon moving to Chicago, she asked the owner of the Sun Times, a family friend, whether columnist Ann Landers needed an assistant. As the columnist was aiming to retire from her twelve-year career, Esther took over both the column and the name, going on to offer readers advice for more than forty years. Three months after she began work as Ann Landers, Esther’s twin Pauline became Abigail Van Buren of “Dear Abby” fame, sparking one of the most famous sibling rivalries in American letters. Landers used her column and her notoriety to bring national and international attention to volunteer causes for women’s and children’s rights.


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Esther Lederer, known as Ann Landers, in Chicago, 1983.

Photo by Alan Light.

Date of Birth

Sioux City, IA
United States

Date of Death
Advice Columnist, Writer

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ann Landers." (Viewed on May 17, 2021) <>.


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