Joan Ryan is an award-winning journalist and author. Her most recent book, Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty, published by Simon & Schuster, will be in bookstores in June 2015. Her previous book, now available in paperback, The Water Giver: The Story of a Mother, a Son and Their Second Chance, was published by Simon & Schuster in September 2009.
The Water Giver is a treasure. I set it aside until one night when I casually dipped in and then read it straight through. I was moved, enlightened and swept along by your pitch perfect and deeply personal narrative. I was a fan before but now I'm a moonie. Write on.—Tom Brokaw
Joan was a pioneer in sports journalism, becoming 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 and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Journalism Award, among other honors. She has been awarded the Fabulous Feminist Award by the San Francisco chapter of the National Organization for Women and was named A Woman Who Could Be President by the San Francisco League of Women Voters.
Her newspaper work spans 25 years, the last 22 in San Francisco. When she left sports, she wrote columns for the Style section, the Op-Ed pages and the Metro section. She left the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007 to pursue book projects and other opportunities.
Her first book, Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters (1995, Doubleday) was a controversial, ground-breaking expose that Sports Illustrated named one of the Top 100 Sports Books of All Time. It was one of the Top 50 Sports Books of All Time in the Guardian newspaper in London. The Sporting News chose it as one of the top three sports books of 1995.