Molly Ivins Dies of Cancer at 62
Thursday, February 1, 2007; 2:31 AM
AUSTIN, Texas -- Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, the sharp-witted liberal who skewered the political establishment and referred to President Bush as "Shrub," died Wednesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 62.
Ivins died at her home while in hospice care, said David Pasztor, managing editor of the Texas Observer, where Ivins had once been co-editor.
Ivins made a living poking fun at politicians, whether they were in her home state of Texas or the White House. She revealed in early 2006 that she was being treated for breast cancer for the third time.
More than 400 newspapers subscribed to her nationally syndicated column, which combined strong liberal views and populist humor. Ivins' illness did not appear to hurt her ability to deliver biting one-liners.
"I'm sorry to say (cancer) can kill you, but it doesn't make you a better person," she said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News in September, the same month cancer claimed her friend former Gov. Ann Richards.
To Ivins, "liberal" wasn't an insult term. "Even I felt sorry for Richard Nixon when he left; there's nothing you can do about being born liberal _ fish gotta swim and hearts gotta bleed," she wrote in a column included in her 1998 collection, "You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You."
In a column in mid-January, Ivins urged readers to stand up against Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
"We are the people who run this country. 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," Ivins wrote in the Jan. 11 column. "We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'"
Ivins' best-selling books included those she co-authored with Lou Dubose about Bush. One was titled "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush" and another was "BUSHWHACKED: Life in George W. Bush's America."
"Molly Ivins was a Texas original," Bush said in a statement. "I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase. She fought her illness with that same passion."
Dubose, who has been working on a third book with Ivins, said even last week in the hospital, Ivins wanted to talk about the project.
"She was married to her profession. She lived for the story," he said.