"Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant it tends to get worse."
Mary Tyler "Molly" Ivins (1944-2007) was a bestselling author, newspaper columnist, political commentator and humorist.
She was born in Monterey, California and grew up in Houston, Texas. Having received her B.A. from Smith College in 1966 she earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, after which she studied for a year in Paris at the Institute of Political Science.
Her first journalism job was at the Houston Chronicle where she graduated from the complaints department to local news. After this she moved to the Minneapolis Tribune as the first woman police reporter and later as the reporter responsible for covering social change during which she wrote about "militant blacks, angry Indians, radical students, uppity women and a motley assortment of other misfits and troublemakers."
Then followed six years with the Texas Observer until, in 1976, she was hired by the New York Times who wanted to liven up their writing. She wrote for the Times for 6 years but her style was a little too colorful for the editors' expectations - in 1982, after writing about a 'community chicken-killing festival', that she referred to as a 'gang-pluck', she was dismissed.
She spent the next decade at the Dallas Times Herald until the paper folded in 1992, after which she moved to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram where she stayed until going independent in 2001 with a syndicated column which soon had a following of nearly 400 newspapers.
In 1999 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which reoccurred in 2003 and 2005. She continued writing her column right up to the end, her last column was published on January 7, 2007. She died on January 31 at the age of 62.
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