Name at birth: Esther Pauline Friedman
Ann Landers dispensed advice to readers in a daily column that ran for five decades in more than 1,200 U.S. newspapers. A wife and mother with no journalism experience, Esther "Eppie" Lederer first took the job in 1955 at the Chicago Sun-Times, replacing the previous writer on an advice column, "Ask Ann Landers." Writing as Ann Landers, her no-nonsense, practical advice was a hit with readers. Between the 1960s and the 1990s she increased her readership in the newspapers and churned out half a dozen best-selling books, giving people advice on everything from wedding etiquette and in-law troubles to cancer and cross-dressing. She was also the famous twin of rival advice columnist "Dear Abby" (Abigail Van Buren, the pen name of Pauline Esther Phillips), the wife of Budget Rent-a-Car founder Jules Lederer, and the mother of "Dear Prudence" (Margo Howard), the advice columnist for the online magazine Slate.