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Ann Landers

From Academic Kids

Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer, a.k.a. Ann Landers (July 4, 1918June 22, 2002), wrote the famous syndicated advice column "Ann Landers". For some 45 years, it was a regular feature in many newspapers across North America. In it, people wrote the columnist for advice and she answered. Lederer's writing style was direct but often witty and sometimes acerbic. She would regularly upbraid an errant letter-writer with the quip, "Watch it, bub!"

Lederer had won a contest to take over the column in 1955, and wound up as owner of the copyright. She chose not to have a different writer continue the column after her death; it ultimately ceased publication when the few weeks' worth of material she had sent out before her death finally ran out.

Esther was an identical twin: her sister, Pauline Esther Friedman, wrote the Dear Abby column as Abigail van Buren. As children, they grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and went by the nicknames "Eppie" and "Popo", respectively. As competing columnists, the sisters did not have a happy relationship. Just a few years before Lederer's death, they were not on speaking terms; it is said that they reconciled before her death.

Lederer's home for many years was Chicago, Illinois, where she owned a huge, well-furnished apartment. Lederer often said that she exercised regularly by walking the length of her apartment several times a day.

In good health almost all of her life, she died of multiple myeloma in 2002.

For the last months of Lederer's Life, the Ann Landers column was written for the most part by her daughter, Margo Coleman. It was decided ahead of time, however, that the column would not continue after Lederer's death.

The Ann Landers column has since been replaced by Annie's Mailbox, a similar feature written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, the longtime editors of Lederer's old column.

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