Molly Ivins, the liberal Texas columnist best known for her down-home humor and biting wit, passed away on Jan. 31, 2007. We at Creators Syndicate are deeply saddened by this loss to us individually and to newspaper readers around the world.

When Molly Ivins began her journalism career at the Houston Chronicle in the late '60s, no one, including her, realized the tremendous impact her political writings would have on our nation. Her friendly, approachable style changed the tone of newspaper column writing, and she fast became a reader favorite.

Richard S. Newcombe, president of Creators Syndicate, said he was personally saddened by the great loss.

"When Molly joined Creators Syndicate in 1992, she brought excitement and levity," he said. "I had admired her columns in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, especially the way she infused political issues with color and personality. She was an incredibly charismatic talent in her own right."

Ivins, never married, divided charitable bequests in her will between the American Civil Liberties Union, which she credits with defending the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, and her cherished Texas Observer, which she edited from 1970 to 1976 before leaving for The New York Times.

Creators Syndicate will offer a farewell column ( written by Molly Ivins' longtime editor, Anthony Zurcher. A moving tribute to Ivins, it will be for release immediately.

Molly's final column was penned on Jan. 11, 2007, following her third diagnosis of cancer. The column makes a strong case against a troop surge in Iraq, and although she may have not known it would be her last, it is a fitting call to arms for her readers who looked to her to make sense out of what she perceived to be the Bush administration's missteps.

Molly Ivins was close friends with Ann Richards, who passed away last year also of cancer. President Bush won his first political election when he defeated Ann Richards in the Texas governor's race in 1994. Subsequently, Molly wrote several books about Bush, including Shrub (2000) and Bushwhacked (2003).  

In 2003, David Broder of The Washington Post remarked: "If there is a shrewder, funnier observer of the American scene writing today than Molly Ivins, I do not know her."

America has lost a national treasure in Molly Ivins, but we are blessed to be able to look upon her columns and books for hope and a hearty laugh. For the woman who once joked, "I believe in practicing prudence at least once every two or three years," that's the way she would have wanted it.  

Farewell, Molly, and thank you for sharing your wisdom and unparalleled charm with us. Your memory will remain in our hearts forever.

-- CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC. (310/337-7003)