Molly Ivins Passed Away After Suffering from Breast Cancer Reoccurrence Three Times

Beth Brophy Health Guide
  • Add newspaper columnist Molly Ivins to the long list of women whose lives were claimed too early because of breast cancer. Ivins, who died this week at 62, suffered three times from breast cancer recurrence since 1999.

    A Texan, Ivins’ personality and political columns were as outsize as her native state. Her column, unabashedly liberal, was syndicated in more than 400 newspapers, and she was known for poking fun at politicians, especially fomer Texas governor George W. Bush, whom she nicknamed “Shrub.” She wrote several best-sellers, including “Bushwacked” in 2003 and “Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush” in 2000. She was a great friend of another famously liberal Texan, former governor Ann Richards, who also died of cancer, last year. (can link to my past blog about Richards).
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    I first became aware of Molly Ivins and her colorful writing during her six-year stint at the New York Times, from 1976 to 1982, which by all accounts, didn’t work out very well. The buttoned up New York Times was attempting to brighten up its pages by hiring colorful regional writers, but Ivins bristled at frequent attempts to rein in her writing style, and eventually moved back to Texas, becoming a columnist for the Dallas Times Herald, where she had more editorial freedom.

    Ivins was raised by Republican parents—her father was an oil executive--in the wealthy Houston neighborhood of River Oaks, where she knew George W. Bush from high school. She graduated from Smith College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, but she always identified with the underdog. “Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything,” she once wrote.

    Despite her illness, she kept writing columns until just a few weeks ago. On January 11, she used her column to speak out against President Bush’s plans to send more troops to Iraq. “We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war,” she wrote, vocal to the end.

Published On: February 05, 2007