Molly Ivins

From Academic Kids

Molly Ivins (born August 30, 1944) is an American political commentator, journalist, and author based in Austin, Texas. She is a syndicated columnist with nationwide distribution.

Ivins was born in Houston to a staunchly Republican family. Her father was a corporate lawyer; her mother was a homemaker who held a B.A. in psychology from Smith College. Ivins made her way to liberalism on issues of civil rights ("once you realize they're lying to you about race everything else follows") and the Vietnam War. She graduated from Smith College in 1966, and later attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she recived her MA. Ivins also studied for a year at the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris, France.

Her first newspaper job was in the Complaint Department of the Houston Chronicle. She went on to the Minneapolis Tribune, where she was the first woman police reporter in that city, then returned to Texas as co-editor of the Texas Observer (, a muckracking monthly. In 1976, Ivins joined the New York Times, first as a political reporter in New York City and Albany. She was then named their Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief, although she self-deprecatingly claims there was no one else in the bureau. Ivins, who is known for her colloquial, humorous style, has described hell as "being edited by the Times Copy Desk for all eternity," and she was eventually fired for referring to a chicken-killing as a "gang pluck."

In 1982, she returned to Texas as a columnist for the late Dallas Times-Herald. After the newspaper closed, she spent the next nine years with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She became an independent journalist in 2001 and also in that year won the William Allen White Award from the University of Kansas, the Smith Medal from Smith College and was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the 2003 recipient of the Ivan Allen, Jr. Prize for Progress and Service.

She is noted for her generally liberal views. She has stated her admiration for William Cowper Brann, a late 19th-century Texas journalist, several times.

In 1995, humorist Florence King noted that Ivins had on several occasions plagiarized King's work (, and on one occasion had mis-stated a quotation from a King column. Ivins apologized in a letter to King, but concluded the letter by writing "you really are a mean b----, aren't you?" King published Ivins's letter and King's own reply here (


  • Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known (Random House, 2004) ISBN 1400062853
  • Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America with Lou Dubose (Random House, 2003) ISBN 0375507523
  • Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego, and the Death of Enron by Robert Bryce, foreward by Molly Ivins (PublicAffairs, 2002) ISBN 158648138X
  • Sugar's Life in the Hood: The Story of a Former Welfare Mother by Sugar Turner and Tracy Bachrach Ehlers, foreward by Molly Ivins (University of Texas Press,2002)ISBN 0292721021
  • The Betrayal of America : How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President (2001) with Vincent Bugliosi (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2001) ISBN 156025355X
  • Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush with Lou Dubose (Random House, 2000) ISBN 0375503994
  • You Got to Dance With Them What Brung You: Politics in the Clinton Years (Random House, 1998) ISBN 0679404465
  • Nothin' But Good Times Ahead (Random House, 1995) ISBN 0517164299
  • Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? (Random House, 1991) ISBN 0679404457
  • The Edge of the West and Other Texas Stories with Bryan Wooley (Texas Western Pr, 1987) ISBN 0874042143

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