Daily Mirror columnist Sue Carroll has died at the age of 58 after an 18-month battle with cancer, the newspaper said today.
Carroll, who was born in Newcastle, moved to London in the 1970s and worked for newspapers including The Sun and the News of the World before joining the Mirror.
She wrote a weekly column in the Mirror for 13 years as well as features and interviews and was described as "part of the heart and soul" of the newspaper by editor Richard Wallace.
Carroll also made regular appearances on national radio and TV, expressing forthright views on issues from feckless parents to political correctness.
She died at home at around 11pm yesterday.
Mr Wallace said: "Although we knew this moment would come, it is still a great shock.
"Sue had faced her long and painful illness with enviable fortitude.
"Until the final few days she was still doing what she loved the most: reading the papers and giving her inimitable thoughts on the world around us - with, of course, the odd no-nonsense rant thrown in.
"Sue was part of the heart and soul of the Daily Mirror - and had a direct line to our readers.
"But she was also very close to some of us personally. So first and foremost we grieve a great friend."