Sally Jenkins (born October 22, 1960) is an American sports columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post. Prior employment included being a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. Jenkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English Literature.
She is the author of twelve books, four of which were New York Times bestsellers, most notably No.1 "Sum It Up: 1098 Victories, A Couple of Irrelevant Losses and A Life In Perspective" with legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt and 'It’s Not About the Bike with Lance Armstrong.
Jenkins secured the last interview with the late Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno where she solicited his views on the Jerry Sandusky sexual molestation allegations for her newspaper shortly before Paterno died in January 2012. After the release of the critical report by former FBI director Louis Freeh into Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky's molestation allegations on July 12, 2012 -- “Freeh charged that Paterno, along with athletic director Timothy Curley, university president Graham Spanier and vice president Gary Schultz, engaged in a cover-up."
Jenkins in a long Washington Post column started her submission with the statement that "Joe Paterno was a liar, there's no doubt about that now," and concluded that the only explanation for Paterno's lack of empathy in Sandusky’s victims was that he fell prey to “the belief that winning on the field makes you better and more important than other people.”
Her attitude to Joe Paterno contrasts with her ongoing defense of Lance Armstrong since the release of the USADA report which has seen Armstrong stripped of the 7 Tour de France titles that he won. She responded to the demise of the American cyclist and subject of two of her books with a column entitled "Why I’m not angry at Lance Armstrong". A passage reads: "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." The books she wrote with Armstrong contain passionate doping denials which turned out to be lies in light of the USADA investigation.
In 2005 Jenkins became the first woman ever inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. In 1986, Jenkins was part of the team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for stories about the cocaine-related death of University of Maryland All-American Len Bias. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 2000. It was also number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. This book was also awarded the Christopher Award for Adult Books in 2001. It also appeared in the Texas Tayshas Reading List from 2001 to 2002. In 2001, 2003, 2010 and 2011 she won the Associated Press’s Columnist of the Year Award, and in 2001 and 2011 she was named Sports Columnist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists.
- Jenkins, Sally (1996). Men Will Be Boys: The Modern Woman Explains Football and Other Amusing Male Rituals. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-48218-3.
- Summit, Pat; Sally Jenkins (1998). Reach for the Summit: The Definite Dozen System for Succeeding at Whatever You Do. Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-0229-7.
- Smith, Dean; John Kilgo; Sally Jenkins (1999). A Coach's Life: My Forty Years in College Basketball. Random House. ISBN 0-375-50270-X.
- Armstrong, Lance; Sally Jenkins (2000). It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. Putnam. ISBN 0-399-14611-3.
- Runyan, Marla; Sally Jenkins (2001). No Finish Line. Putnam. ISBN 0-399-14803-5.
- Armstrong, Lance; Sally Jenkins (2004). Every Second Counts. Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-1448-1.
- Jenkins, Sally; Funny Cide Team (2004). Funny Cide: How a Horse, a Trainer, a Jockey, and a Bunch of High School Buddies Took on the Sheiks and Blue Bloods—and Won. Putnam. ISBN 0-399-15179-6.
- Jenkins, Sally (2007). The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, a People, a Nation. Random House. ISBN 0-7393-2719-4.
- Jenkins, Sally; John Stauffer (2009). The State of Jones. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-52593-1.
- Biography. National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- "Joe Paterno’s last interview". The Washington Post. January 13, 2012. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012.
- Sally Jenkins, Joe Paterno, at the end, showed more interest in his legacy than Sandusky’s victims, The Washington Post, July 12, 2012
- Macur, Juliet (22 October 2012). "Lance Armstrong Is Stripped of His 7 Tour de France Titles". NYTimes.com (The New York Times). Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- Sally Jenkins (December 17, 2012). "Why I’m not angry at Lance Armstrong". Washington Post (1996-2012 The Washington Post). Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "William Hill Spots Book of the Year winners".
- "BEST SELLERS: September 16, 2001". New York Times. September 16, 2001. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- "The 2001 Christopher Award Winners".
- "Books:It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
- Jenkins's page at the Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN