- NAME: Ann Landers
- OCCUPATION: Writer
- BIRTH DATE: July 04, 1918
- DEATH DATE: June 22, 2002
- EDUCATION: Morningside College
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Sioux City, Iowa
- PLACE OF DEATH: Chicago, Illinois
- Nickname: Eppie Friedman
- Maiden Name: Esther Pauline Friedman
- AKA: Ann Landers
- Full Name: Esther Pauline Lederer
- AKA: Esther Friedman
- Nickname: Eppie Lederer
- AKA: Esther Lederer
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Ann Landers was the famous advice columnist who developed a newspaper readership counting into the millions.
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Born on July 4, 1918, in Sioux City, Iowa, Eppie Lederer would eventually come to be known across the globe as Ann Landers via her advice column in the Chicago Sun-Times. Known for her wisecracking yet straightforward advice, Landers' column went into syndication in more than a thousand newspapers. Her twin sister had a rival column, Dear Abby. Lederer died on June 22, 2002.
"If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that are missing. If you don't have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it's not enough."
"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
"I don't believe that you have to be a cow to know what milk is."
Using the pen name "Ann Landers," Eppie Lederer became one of America's most trusted source of advice for decades through her newspaper column. Landers was born Esther Pauline Friedman on July 4, 1918, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Russian-Jewish immigrants: Her father owned a successful movie theater business, and her mother was a homemaker.
Growing up, Landers was incredibly close to her identical twin sister, Pauline Phillips, who would also go on to become a revered advice columnist, under the pseudonym "Abigail Van Buren." The two even went to the same college -- Morningside College in Sioux City -- and, on July 2, 1938, had a joint wedding ceremony: Landers married Jules Lederer, who would later found Budget Rent-a-Car, and Van Buren wed a businessman named Morton Phillips.
Living in Chicago, Illinois, in the mid-1950s, Landers decided that she wanted to do more than be a stay-at-home wife and mother: Noticing an advice column in The Chicago Sun-Times called "Ask Ann Landers," she inquired about helping the columnist out. It turned out that the previous columnist, Ruth Crowley, had died, and the paper was looking a replacement. More than 20 people applied for the position, but Landers won out, officially taking over her now-famous pen name.
Known for her wisecracking and candid writing style, Landers quickly developed a large following, and her column was soon put into syndication and read by a national audience.
In an odd twist of fate, beginning in 1956, she found herself competing with her twin sister: Van Buren had begun writing her own column, "Dear Abby," which, like "Ask Ann Landers," garnered wide acclaim. Van Buren hadn't informed her sister of her column-writing plans, and a devastated Landers severed all ties with her twin. "I felt betrayed. Because she didn't tell me that she was considering it, she didn't tell me -- she just presented it as a fact," Landers later explained. The sisters' dispute lasted for nearly a decade, becoming increasingly bitter as the years passed by, and was heavily covered by the press.
"They became serious competitors," Henry Ginsburg, Landers's high school boyfriend, later said of the rivalry. "And it escalated to bounds that nobody expected. Nobody could believe what happened. And the scandal sheets loved it." On April 7, 1958, LIFE magazine published an article that aired the sisters' dirty laundry to the world. Featuring the sisters sniping at each other throughout, the piece concluded that theirs was, quote, "the most, feverish female feud since Elizabeth sent Mary Queen of Scots to the chopping block."
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It's a rare person who is not only a good listener, but a skilled problem solver. From suggestions on how to invest your money to wise thoughts about child-rearing, here are the people who have made a career out of giving sage advice. Explore our collection of advice dispensers, including Dr. Phil McGraw, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Ann Landers, Abigail Van Buren and Joyce Brothers.
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