Joan Ryan

Joan Ryan

Joan Ryan is an award-winning journalist and author of five books. She was born in the Bronx, grew up in New Jersey, went to high school and college in Florida and ended up in her favorite city, San Francisco. She was a pioneer in sports journalism, becoming one of the first female sports columnists in the country. Her newest book, "Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry'' (Little, Brown, 2020), is also her most ambitious. She takes readers on a question to understand the seemingly indefinable phenomenon called team chemistry. Joan was a pioneer in sports journalism as one of the first female sports columnists in the country. She covered every major sporting event from the Super Bowl and the World Series to the Olympics and championship fights. Her sports columns and features earned 13 Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, the National Headliner Award, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Journalism Award, and the prestigious Edgar A. Poe Award from the White House Correspondents Association for her four-part series about wounded soldiers, "War Without End.’' Her first book, “Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters’’ (1995, Doubleday) was a ground-breaking expose named one of the “Top 100 Sports Books of All Time’’ by Sports Illustrated and one of the “Top 50 Sports Books of All Time’’ by the Guardian. The book and Joan were featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes, Nightline, the Today Show, People magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Times, Time magazine and other media around the country. Her 2015 book, Molina: The Story of a Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty (Simon & Schuster), was a finalist for the 2015 PEN Literary Award. Joan has been the media consultant for the San Francisco Giants for the past thirteen years (and has three World Series rings to show for it!). She lives in Sausalito, north of San Francisco, with her husband, Showtime sportscaster Barry Tompkins. They have one son, Ryan, who was the subject of Joan's third book, "The Water Giver.''
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