Pauline Phillips --the woman who founded the "Dear Abby" advice column -- died yesterday at the age of 94.
A rep for Phillips tells TMZ ... Pauline had been battling Alzheimer's disease.
Pauline's daughter, Jeanne -- who took over the "Dear Abby" column -- says ... "I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend."
She adds, "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."
More at TMZ.com