Browns Frank Ryan Wife Joan: Married Life And Kids

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Browns Frank Ryan wife, Joan Ryan, was one of the few women sports columnists of her time. Joan and Ryan were married for 65 years and raised four boys together.

A woman ahead of her time in her field, Joan began writing about sports after her husband joined the Browns organization in 1962. She worked for the Washington Post and was one of their trusted writers. 

Ryan Was One Of The Last Players From The Browns Team To Win The NFL Championship
Ryan Was One Of The Last QBs From The Browns Team To Win The NFL Championship (Source: Twitter)

Frank Ryan was not only a former football player. He received various honors in academic fields, but Joan and Ryan said in their interview that he didn’t like the media putting the spotlight on his academic achievements. 

A Ph.D. holder from Rice, Ryan, published two fundamental papers in the Duke Mathematic Journal. He even received the Golden Plate Award in 1965. 

It was Ryan’s son, Frank B. Ryan Jr, who confirmed his father’s demise at age 87. He shared that the former NFL player passed away due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease at a healthcare facility in Waterford, Connecticut. 

Browns Frank Ryan Wife: Meet Joan Ryan

The former Browns quarterback, Frank Ryan, and his wife, Joan, were married for 65 years. Joan’s journalism career in sports began when her husband became the quarterback for the Browns. 

An English literature graduate from the Rice Institution in Houston, Texas, Joan never thought she would write about sports. But there she was. The Cleveland Plain Dealer hired her to write about the Cleveland Browns. 

Her first sports column was titled “Back Seat Brown.” She worked for Plain Dealer for seven years, and during that time, she also sent columns to the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post.

In 1970, after the family shifted to Washington D.C, Joan joined Washington Star and worked there for several years. Joan and Ryan tied the knot the same year Joan graduated from college.

Joan Ryan Pictured During The Last 70's At The Washington Post Newsroom
Joan Ryan Pictured During The Last 70’s At The Washington Post Newsroom (Source: Twitter)

The year was 1958, and soon after their wedding, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where Ryan played for the Rams. Previously, in their interview with Sports Illustrated, Joan said Frank hated getting too much media coverage about his intelligence. 

In their conversation, the couple also voiced the unfair treatment the quarterback received during his time in Los Angeles. Joan believed that one of the squabbling owners hated her husband, leading him to shrink his playing time. 

She also said she was sensitive about what the press wrote about her husband and wanted him to be on their good side. Joan had read many untrue stuff about her husband, so she wanted him to be courteous with the reporters.

Joan Ryan In Journalism 

Previously, Joan had talked abuot the challenges she faced as a female sports reporter. She said there was a time when women would not be allowed in the press box. 

There were female reporters at the time, but not many. Joan also said she never understood why people thought women wouldn’t understand professional sports or professional football as easily as men. 

One Of The Articles Of Joan Ryan During Her Time At Washington
One Of The Articles Of Joan Ryan During Her Time At Washington (Source: Twitter)

But during her interview, Joan also remembered those who helped her in her career. She said Dave Burgin trusted her work so much that he let her write what she wanted to write and never had to assign things to her.

She also thanked George Solomon, with whom she worked at The Washington Post. George helped her break from just writing about football as Joan ventured into writing about the Indy 500. 

She continued working for The Washington Post until the family moved to New Haven. During the time of her interview, Joan said she still wrote columns and was part of the Grafton News. 

Frank Ryan Shared Four Kids With Joan

The couple, Frank and Joan, were parents to four boys. The four boys are Frank B. Ryan Jr, Stuart, Michael, and Heberden Ryan. 

Frank B. Ryan Jr lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, and is also known as Pancho Ryan. Frank Jr graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in visual studies and later earned a master’s from Yale University in architecture. 

He previously worked for STV Inc., Ethelind Coblin Architect, and is currently a managing principal at The Golden Mean Group. 

Two Of Four Sons Of Frank And Joan. On The Left: Frank Jr And On The Right: Michael Ryan
Two Of Four Sons Of Frank And Joan. On The Left: Frank Jr And On The Right: Michael Ryan (Source: Facebook)

Michael Ryan graduated from Harvard University with a degree in biology and later studied at Columbia University. Though he didn’t play football like his father, Michael is a former rower and the ’83 National Champion. 

Heberden W. Ryan graduated from Havard University with a degree in history and literature. Later, he earned his MBA from Havard Business School. 

The youngest of the bunch, Heberden previously worked for the Channel Swift Group, Resolution Inc., and later served as the Chairman of the Board for TalentScope Inc.

Since 2003, Heberden has been working as a managing director for Boston Post Partners LLC. Their brother, Stuart Ryan, has remained away from social media. 

The other three brothers are also not very active on social media but have previously shared a few photos. In 2013, Heberden shared a picture of him and Michael visiting the Memorial Row for Harry Parker.  

Sriyukta Pradhananga
Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga is a versatile writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted dimensions of sports. Her articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking commentary that sheds light on the diverse experiences within the athletic realm.


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With a background in journalism and a passion for sports, Sriyukta approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. She strives to illuminate the complexities and nuances of the sports world, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the athletic endeavors that unite us all.

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