Using the pseudonym Abigail "Aggy" Van Buren, Pauline Phillips, carved herself an renowned career as an international agony aunt. Phillips has sadly died at the age if 94 after a long struggle with Alzheimers.
She didn't enter her career of journalism until the age of 38, having been spurred on by her twin sister who was also a journalist. From her first column in the San Fransisco Chronicle in 1956, her popularity grew and grew. As NY Daily News note, the popularity of her work was proven in 1987 when a quarter of a million people anonymously sent in postcards telling her that they had committed adultery.
Since 2000 the role has been shared with her daughter, Jeanne Phillips. In 2002 Jeanne had to take over the role full time after the family announced that Pauline had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Through her replies to the people writing in about their problems, she "championed equal rights for women, minorities and people with mental illness or physical disabilities."
Devastated at her loss, Jeanne said: "I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend. My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day."
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.