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About Ellie

"I'm telling you this about Ellie, people in bars in Chicago talk about her advice and it doesn't get better than that! Talk about cool."
- Michael Cooke, Editor-in-Chief, Sun-Times News Group

"Readers love Ellie for one big reason: she is completely straight with them -- firm and direct while always empathetic...She's highly knowledgeable and terrifically grounded which means she is authoritative. So it's no surprise that Ellie is one of the Star's most recognized and appreciated columnists."
- Giles Gherson, Editor-in-Chief, Toronto Star.


Ellie Tesher is an internationally syndicated advice columnist, whose column ELLIE appears in newspapers across Canada and in the United States. Launched in September 2002, her wise and witty answers to readers now appear in more than 30 newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the original home paper of Ann Landers for over three decades.

The Sun-Times launched ELLIE as relationship guru with a week of front-page publicity, up against the Chicago Tribune, in what's been called "advice wars" by media-watchers there. Ellie's column had already proven popular over nine months in the Sun-Times' commuter paper Red Streak.

As advice columnist and journalist, Tesher has been a frequent guest on national and local television and radio shows and has hosted her own talk-radio call in advice show. She makes many public appearances and keynote speeches, and is often asked to participate in public events and panels. She appeared in a seminar of motivational speakers including TV's Dr. Phil.

Ellie brings a unique voice - smart, funny, compassionate and practical - to the advice scene. She combines insight and life experience with solid research skills and information on local resources, as well as her background in social work. Her public and TV appearances are noted for her attractive, easy manner and ability to entertain as well as inform.

She has a personal perspective on the problems readers bring to her: She's experienced a childhood dealing with a depressive mother, a young marriage, divorce, single parenthood, a period with a live-in alcoholic partner, troubled teenagers, caring for a parent with Alzheimer's, a second marriage, step-parenthood, family diversity, and career challenges. Through it all, she became a shining example of her own advice philosophy- that people can successfully overcome all kinds of obstacles, rise above them and inspire those around them to do so.

Ellie Tesher, author and journalist, has built great credibility and excellent credentials over 29 years, with readers of the Toronto Star - the biggest circulation newspaper in Canada, where she's been an opinion page columnist, news columnist, editor, investigative and features writer and reporter.

For seven years, her award-winning news columns established her as a popular voice for a wide audience. Her commentary spanned current news, controversy, government policies, observations on trends and talking points, and personal insights both sharp and humourous. She writes - and speaks - with clarity and passion.

Her 1999 best-seller The Dionnes is the remarkable story of the adult lives of identical Canadian quintuplets - the first ever in the world to survive, and who became world-wide, money-making child celebrities during the Depression years, only to suffer family isolation, personal tragedies and adult poverty. The book sold out in hard cover and paperback.

Americans, especially, took the five adorable girls to their hearts and spent the equivalent of $250 million annually in those lean times, travelling to see them on display in northern Ontario.

The book is the only account of the sisters that reveals their full adult lives and shocking slide into desperate straits, despite the fortune in tourist dollars they'd created for the province. Ms Tesher's previous newspaper columns on the surviving Dionnes' fight for compensation brought in an astounding response of 2,000 faxes in two days, 4,000 more letters and faxes in a week. Following her exclusive interview which appeared on a Monday, and her subsequent daily articles, the women were granted $1 million each by the Ontario government on the Friday, four days later.

Ms. Tesher graduated from the University of Toronto with a major in sociology, completed part of her master's degree, and worked for a period as a child care social worker with Children's Aid Society where she managed the cases of 50 foster children removed from their parents' homes.

She wrote freelance articles for three years, and was published in many magazines and newspapers. She was sought out and invited to come on staff by the Toronto Star in 1977, without having applied for a job.

She's happily married to her second husband, Vian Ewart, a journalist, and between them they enjoy a family of five adult children and frequent surprises.

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