Sally Jenkins
Born (1960-10-11) October 11, 1960 (age 62)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Occupationauthor, sports columnist, and feature writer
Alma materStanford University; BA in English literature (1982).[1]
Notable awards
RelativesDan Jenkins (father)

Sally Jenkins (born October 22, 1960) is an American sports columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post, and author. She was previously a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. She has won the AP Sports Columnist of the Year Award five times, received the National Press Foundation 2017 chairman citation, and was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize. She is the author of a dozen books. Jenkins is noted for her writing on Pat Summitt, Joe Paterno, Lance Armstrong, and the United States Center for SafeSport.

Early life and education

Jenkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas,[2] She is the daughter of Hall of Fame sportswriter Dan Jenkins, who also once wrote for Sports Illustrated.[3] She is a 1982 graduate of Stanford University, with a degree in English literature.[1]


Jenkins is a sports columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post. She was previously a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. She was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize. Jenkins is the author of twelve books, four of which were New York Times bestsellers, including the number 1 bestseller Sum It Up: 1098 Victories, A Couple of Irrelevant Losses and A Life In Perspective, written with legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, and It's Not About the Bike written with bicycle racer Lance Armstrong. Her work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, GQ, and Sports Illustrated, and Jenkins has been a correspondent on CNBC, as well as on NPR's All Things Considered.[4][5]

Joe Paterno interview and column

In January 2012, Jenkins secured an interview with Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) football coach Joe Paterno shortly before his death. During the interview, she asked him his views on the Jerry Sandusky sexual molestation allegations. Her report of the interview was published January 13, 2012. In it she drew no firm conclusions about Paterno's culpability, but simply reported his words, and those of his lawyer.[6]

On July 12, 2012, in a Washington Post follow-up column, after the release of the Freeh Report, she wrote: "Joe Paterno was a liar, there's no doubt about that now ... Paterno fell prey to the single most corrosive sin in sports: the belief that winning on the field makes you better and more important than other people."[7]

Lance Armstrong

Jenkins co-wrote two best-selling autobiographies with cyclist Lance Armstrong, and defended Armstrong even after he admitted to doping and taking banned performance-enhancing substances while vehemently lying that he had done so, and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.[8] In a column titled, "Why I’m not angry at Lance Armstrong", Jenkins wrote: "And I’m confused as to why using cortisone as an anti-inflammatory in a 2,000-mile race is cheating, and I wonder why putting your own blood back into your body is the crime of the century."[9]


In October 2022, Jenkins wrote a column in the Washington Post about the United States Center for SafeSport. She called SafeSport “a false front … little more than another coverup operation, a litigation-avoidance ploy and bottomless pit into which to dump complaints and disguise inaction.”[10] In conclusion, she wrote that SafeSport is "abuser-friendly," and a sham.[10]


It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 2000.[11] It was also number one on the New York Times Best Seller list.[12] The book was also awarded the Christopher Award for Adult Books in 2001.[13] It also appeared in the Texas Tayshas Reading List from 2001 to 2002.[14]

In 2001, 2003, 2010, 2011, and 2021 she won the Associated Press’s Sports Columnist of the Year Award.[15] In 2001, 2008, and 2011 she was named Sports Columnist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists.[16][4] She received the National Press Foundation's chairman citation in 2017.[17]

In 2005 Jenkins became the first woman inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame.[18] She was inducted into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame in 2021.[19] She was named the 2021 Red Smith Award winner.[20]


Personal life

Jenkins resides in Sag Harbor, New York.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Sally Jenkins; Washington, D.C., Sports columnist", The Washington Post.
  2. ^ Biography. National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  3. ^ "Q&A with Sally Jenkins". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Sally Jenkins". National Press Foundation.
  5. ^ "Sally Jenkins Discusses 'The Real All Americans'". Iowa Public Radio. July 31, 2007.
  6. ^ "Joe Paterno's last interview". The Washington Post. January 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012.
  7. ^ "Joe Paterno, at the end, showed more interest in his legacy than Sandusky's victims". The Washington Post. July 12, 2012. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Macur, Juliet (October 22, 2012). "Lance Armstrong Is Stripped of His 7 Tour de France Titles". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  9. ^ Sally Jenkins (December 17, 2012). "Why I'm not angry at Lance Armstrong". Washington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Sally Jenkins (October 3, 2022). "Another 'report' on abuse in women's sports. When is enough enough?", The Washington Post.
  11. ^ "William Hill Spots Book of the Year winners".
  12. ^ "BEST SELLERS: September 16, 2001". New York Times. September 16, 2001. Retrieved November 7, 2007.
  13. ^ "The 2001 Christopher Award Winners". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "Books:It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  15. ^ "Sally Jenkins wins 2021 Associated Press Sports Editors award," The Washington Post, May 4, 2022.
  16. ^ "Sigma Delta Chi Awards - Society of Professional Journalists". Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Sally Jenkins". Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  18. ^ "2005 – Sally Jenkins". National Sports Media Association.
  19. ^ "D.C. Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Classes of 2020, 2021 at Nationals Park". The Washington Informer. August 30, 2021.
  20. ^ Banaszynski, Jacqui (March 17, 2021). "An emotional award for Sally Jenkins after a lifetime of awards; The Washington Post sports journalist is named the 2021 Red Smith Award winner, following in the footsteps of her father". Nieman Storyboard.