(NBC) -- Pauline Phillips, the original "Dear Abby" advice columnist, died Wednesday at the age of 94 after a decade-long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Phillips wrote the most widely syndicated columnist in the world – published in more than 1,200 newspapers and read by nearly 9 million people daily – under the pen name Abigail Van Buren for four decades.

Her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, co-wrote the column with her mother for more than a decade.

"I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend," said Jeanne in a statement. "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 by continuing this legacy."