Molly Ivins, a popular U.S. newspaper columnist and best-selling author, has died at the age of 62.

Ivins passed away Wednesday at her home in the southwestern city of Austin, Texas after a long battle with breast cancer. 

Ivins was an unapologetic liberal who used down-to-earth humor to make fun of politicians regardless of their political party, especially those in her native state of Texas.  But she targeted most of her biting wit on President Bush,  who served as Texas governor before his election to the White House in 2000.  Ivins dubbed the future president "Dubya" and "Shrub" while criticizing his policies, and co-wrote two best-selling books about him.

In one of her final columns last month, she urged readers to oppose the war in Iraq, saying "we are the deciders."

Mr. Bush praised Ivins in a statement Wednesday as "a Texas original."

Ivins was born in California in 1944, but grew up in Houston, Texas.  She first gained fame covering the Texas Legislature for the Texas Observer, and later worked for the New York Times.   Her column was eventually distributed to over 300 newspapers across the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP .