Christine Brennan

Award-Winning USA Today Sports Columnist, Television Commentator, and Best-Selling Author

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Christine Brennan Speaker Biography

Award-Winning USA Today Sports Columnist, Television Commentator, and Best-Selling Author

Christine Brennan is an award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, a commentator for ABC News, CNN, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio, a best-selling author and a nationally-known speaker. Twice named one of the country’s top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, she has covered the last 17 Olympic Games, summer and winter.


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 more than 160 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 also helped write Billie Jean King’s autobiographical Pressure is a Privilege.

USA Today

Brennan is a leading voice on some of the most controversial and important issues in sports. Her USA Today column in April 2002 on Augusta National Golf Club triggered the national debate on the club’s lack of female members. In December 2002, Sports Illustrated’s Golf Plus section named her one of golf’s 12 heroes of the year. Ten years later, Brennan broke the news that Augusta National was admitting its first two women members. She also broke the story of the pairs figure skating scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the Russian judging scandal at the 2014 Sochi Games.


Brennan earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement 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.

Awards and Accolades

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.

Christine Brennan Speaking Topics

Fathers and Daughters

This is a heartwarming talk about a little girl who grew up to love sports - with the support of her strong father. Now a successful author and journalist, Christine Brennan's dad was her biggest fan at a time (the late 60's and '70's) when most athletically gifted girls were told sports were not for them. Christine's dad, ironically a rock-ribbed Republican, became her own personal Title IX, and through his support, she blossomed toward a career in - you guessed it - sports! From covering the greatest pro and college football teams, to reporting on the Olympic Games then onto critical sports issues like role models, sports and our kids, steroids and other news, Christine's successes are rooted in that childhood joy of loving sports with her dad. Christine's moving keynote celebrates the special bond between fathers and daughters and how, with a dad's encouragement, little girls can achieve their dreams.

From the Sidelines to the Locker Room

In this speech, Christine Brennan shares her stories as the nation's most-read female sports journalist. She shares her many experiences, and what it is like being a women in a predominantly male field.

Making Sense of Title IX

Title IX is the law that changed the playing fields in America. Sports speaker Christine Brennan discusses the impact of Title IX, and what it has done for women in sports today.

The Importance of the #MeToo Movement

The Olympic Games

Christine Brennan Books

INSIDE EDGE: A Revealing Journey Into the Secret World of Figure Skating
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Edge of Glory: The Inside Story of the Quest for Figure Skating’s Olympic Gold Medals
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Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes
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Christine Brennan Videos

Christine Brennan Speaker Testimonials

What a night! Christine was extremely well-received! She's an excellent speaker, and her message is great!

- | YWCA of McLean County

Christine was excellent. She was exceptionally generous with her time.

- | United Way of Allegheny County - Women's Leadership Council

The event went extremely well! Christine was a wonderful speaker, and I'm glad we were able to bring her to paint a clearer picture of what it's like being a female sports columnist in today! The conversation we had with Mallory Pugh was engaging, and I think everyone in attendance will think of it as one of the highlights of Lecture Fund's events this year.

- | Georgetown Lecture Fund

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Recent Books

INSIDE EDGE: A Revealing Journey Into the Secret World of Figure Skating
Purchase Book
Edge of Glory: The Inside Story of the Quest for Figure Skating’s Olympic Gold Medals
Purchase Book

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