Molly Ivins's two greatest honors, so she said, are that the Minneapolis police force named its mascot pig after her and that she was once banned from Texas A&M's college campus. Most folks know her, however, as the nationally syndicated editorial columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Molly Ivins became a nationally syndicated columnist and author who "rankled conservatives and delighted liberals". She died Wednesday, February 28, 2007 after a seven year battle with breast cancer. Even President George W. Bush admitted, "Molly Ivins was a Texas original."
Ivins was originally from Houston. She had degrees from Smith College and Columbia University, and studied at the Institute of Political Science in Paris. Her journalism career began in the Complaint Department of the Houston Chronicle. Next she worked for the Minneapolis Tribune as a police reporter. She later covered social changes among minorities, feminists and student protesters.
In 1970, Ronnie Dugger, publisher of The Texas Observer, hired Ivins as co-editor of his small but influential magazine about Texas politics. She covered the Texas Legislature when it was in session. In 1976 she became a political reporter for the New York Times. There she covered City Hall and the New York Legislature. A year later, the skill Ivins displayed in handling those assignments led to three years of reporting on nine mountain states as chief, and sole member, of the New York Times Rocky Mountain Bureau. She returned to Texas in February 1982.
Her freelance writing has been published by many of the best known magazines in the U.S. Her television commentaries have been featured on National Public Radio and the McNeil/Lehrer program. She has been a board member of the National News Council, and is active in Amnesty International's Journalism Network and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She covers press issues for the American Civil Liberties Union and is published in journalism reviews.
In 1976, the Columbia University's School of Journalism named Ivins an Outstanding Alumna. She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times and was the winner of the 1992 Headliners Award for best column in Texas.
She has written several books of collected columns and essays, including Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?; Nothin' But Good Times Ahead; and You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You.
At almost six feet tall and with flaming red hair, Molly Ivins was hard to miss and is difficult to forget. She is best remembered for her sense of humor and quick wit.
Bibliography: Creators Syndicate <http://creators.com/opinion/bio/bio-ivin.htm>; The Texas Observer <http://www.texasobserver.org>.