Famous agony aunts and advice columnists... The list grows longer and longer. Maybe YOU will join this list one day? If you are interested in working
as an agony aunt or advice columnist then do please apply - go to the well paid work section - because we are always on the look out for people who
are blessed with maturity, common sense, knowledge and skills with people - there are not many of them about - and we pay very well.
How did this business start in the first place?
In 1691 a 32 year old man named John Dunton who was living in USA, America was having an affair and knew there was nobody he would be able to go to for support or guidance without revealing who he was. Many would have shrugged and struggled on, but in Dunton, a printer and bookseller, the entrepreneurial as well as adulterous spirit was veru strong. Realising his dilemma could not be unique, he launched the Athenian Gazette and opened its pages to the readers. Thus the first agony column - manned by the very first of the agony aunts and advice columists – and interactive magazine – was born. This became so popular he had to hire writers to help him. Other publications then followed, they liked the idea that the person with the problem was writing their publication for them. By the 1740s female advisors became more and more popular.The pre-Victorian agony aunts and uncles could be surprisingly liberal and outspoken. Dunton once advised a woman fearing a lonely old age to get herself down to the docks when the fleet was in and hook a sex-starved sailor. You have to remember that although Dunton had the entrepreneurial spirit and the money to set up his pubication he did not necessarily have the wisdom and knowledge needed to give good advice or be a proper agony aunt and advice columnist who can help people.
Marjorie Proops (born Rebecca Rayle)
worked as the agony aunt for the Daily Mirror for over forty years. It was eventualy revealed that this Jewish lady had a virtually sexless marriage for many years and a thirty year long secret affair. Her book Marje - The Guilt and the Gingerbread. She began her career as a commercial artist then became a fashion illustrator, then womens'
editor and then general features writer. She
took over writing the advice column as the columnistin 1959. Marje suffered a bout of mental illness. She had
a staff of nine helpers replying to readers with advice and support answering approximately 25,000 letters each week.
So you see Marjorie did not have any special qualifications or training either as an advisor or
a writer but it did not stop her.
British, UK, English
Charlotte Craig (European) Daily Mirror and private
ChildLine's "Ask Sam", a children's advice column
Susan Sutherland Isaacs, who worked under the pseudonym "Ursula Wise" in several child care journals
David Tang, who writes an advice column for the Financial Times Weekend edition
American, America, USA
Amy Alkon ("Advice Goddess")
E. Jean Carroll
George W. Crane
Marie Manning ("Dear Beatrice Fairfax")
Jeffrey L. Seglin
Cheryl Strayed ("Dear Sugar")
Emily Yoffe ("Dear Prudence")
Famous agony aunts and advice columnists
UK BRITISH ENGLISH AMERICAN AMERICA USA
If you can think of any well known advisors we left out let us know with some details and then if you are right we will include them on the lists here. It doees not take qualifications or a special professional background to do this, it does take brains and guts and perserverence and in the cases of some of the above just being in the right place at the right time and being lucky. To work for a newspaper or magazine requires luck because there are so many other journalists and writers the editor could have chosen instead. Many of the ones who write for a publication are chosen for their way with words rather than their wisdom or experience of understanding people or solving problems.