Ann and Abby

Advice columnists Abigail Van Buren, left, and her twin sister, Ann Landers, are shown at their 50-year high school class reunion in Sioux City in June 1986.

Associated Press

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SIOUX CITY | Millions of people outside Sioux City likely knew the nation's advice columnist Ann Landers separately from her equally famous sister, Dear Abby.

For years, most newspapers published one column or the other, but not both. It was a different story in Sioux City. Ann and Abby always were known as "the twins" -- Esther "Eppie" Pauline Friedman (Ann) and Pauline "Popo" Esther Friedman (Abby). You couldn't say one's name without mentioning the other's.

That was because the sisters grew up at 1722 Jackson St., went to Central High School and attended Morningside College, where they usually were in the limelight and always together.

The twins even got married in a double ceremony on July 2, 1939, at Shaare Zion, where they wore identical wedding gowns.

The point of their togetherness seemed to be well taken by a reporter for the Washington Post who covered Central High's 50th class reunion in 1986. The stars of the gathering? Eppie Lederer and Popo Phillips.

In an article published June 23, 1986, the reporter noted they were known as the Friedman twins, "as nearly everyone calls them here. ... Classmates kept asking, 'When are the twins getting in?'"

People remembered both women after Abby died 2013 in Minneapolis after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 94. Ann died in 2002 in Chicago from cancer.

Eppie and Popo often said they were proud of their Sioux City roots, visited through the years and gave a number of interviews to Journal reporters.

They were feisty, frank and funny.

In a story that ran on their 80th birthday, July 4, 1998, in the Journal, Ann attributed her good health to working out, eating right, continuing to work and never drinking or smoking. Abby said she never dwelled on age and credited "good genes."


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