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Treasuring the Wit and Wisdom of Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins (right) shares a laugh with the late Ann Richards, former Texas governor, in 1991.
Mark Perlstein
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Molly Ivins (right) shares a laugh with the late Ann Richards, former Texas governor, in 1991.

Conventional journalism didn't quite fit Molly Ivins, the liberal political columnist and author.

Ivins, who died Wednesday of breast cancer at age 62, bedeviled politicians — especially those of her native Texas — with witty political critiques.

She started at The Houston Chronicle and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, but by 1969, Ivins had had enough of conventional newspaper editors.

"I couldn't find any way to tell the truth in a regular newspaper," she said in a 2006 interview.

She went home to Texas, where she became editor of the independent political journal The Texas Observer in 1970. With her sense of humor and ability to tell stories, she made herself famous and the Texas legislature infamous.

Her book Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? brought her national recognition. She later became a commentator for Morning Edition, and her syndicated column reached 340 newspapers, many in small markets around the country.

Diagnosed with cancer in 1999, she continued to write until her death.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Wade Goodwyn is an NPR National Desk Correspondent covering Texas and the surrounding states.
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