Christine Brennan is an award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, a commentator for CNN, ABC News, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio, a best-selling author and a nationally-known speaker. Named one of the country’s top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors three times, she has covered the last 18 Olympic Games, summer and winter.
In March 2020, Brennan was named the winner of the prestigious Red Smith Award, presented annually to a person who has made “major contributions to sports journalism.”
Brennan was the first woman sports writer at The Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover Washington’s NFL team as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She was the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and started an internship-scholarship program that has supported 175 female students over the past two decades.
Brennan is the author of seven books. Her 2006 sports memoir, Best Seat in the House, is the only father-daughter memoir written by a sports journalist. Her 1996 national best-seller, Inside Edge, was named one of the top 100 sports books of all-time by Sports Illustrated.
Brennan earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. A Toledo native who went to Ottawa Hills High School, she is a member of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement, Northwestern’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the Washington, D.C., Sports Hall of Fame.
She has received honorary degrees from Tiffin (Ohio) University and the University of Toledo. She is a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees and a national trustee at the University of Toledo.
Brennan’s honors include the 1993 Capital Press Women’s “Woman of Achievement;” the University of North Carolina’s 2002 Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecturer; the U.S. Sports Academy’s Ronald Reagan Award in 2002; the Jake Wade Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2003; AWSM’s Pioneer Award in 2004 and Service Award in 2016; the Woman of the Year by WISE (Women in Sports and Events) in 2005; the inaugural Women’s Sports Foundation Billie Award for journalism in 2006; Chi Omega’s 2006 Woman of Achievement Award, Northwestern University’s Alumni Service Award in 2007 and Yale’s Kiphuth medal in 2013.
Both the NCAA and the Women’s Sports Foundation honored her during Title IX 40th anniversary celebrations in 2012.