Gwen Knapp is a well-known columnist and sports reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle and The Philadelphia Inquirer. the The Sunday Review’s sports desk died in Manhattan Friday. Her name was 61.

According to Susan Knapp McClements, lymphoma was the cause.

Fast 30 years of reporting on sports was spent by Ms. Knapp. In 1995 she became one of a few women who were a columnist for sports. the To be the country that holds this title at the time. Time. at Joan Ryan, one the editors of The San Francisco Examiner, was one the first.

In particular, Ms. Knapp is well-known among sports enthusiasts in the Bay Area because of her emphasis on topics like racism, sexism, and drug abuse. Her columns drew the Some of the ire the Sports’ biggest stars, the Lance Armstrong is the champion cyclist the Barry Bonds is a baseball legend.

As early as 2001, before Armstrong’s third of seven consecutive Tour de France victories and well before most other American journalists, Ms. Knapp raised doubts about the Validity of his performance.

In a long letter to the editor Armstrong wrote a passionate complaint about Ms. Knapp’s writing in The Chronicle 2004. “I have never had a single positive doping test, and I do not take performance-enhancing drugs.”

Nine years later, he confessed to using banned drugs in all of his Tour victories.

Ms. Knapp wrote extensively about Bonds, who was crushing home run records amid widespread speculation — which he has always denied — that he was using performance-enhancing drugs.

She won the Associated Press Sports Editors Newspaper Writing Awards and was a regular finalist. the Top award in 1998 for columnists The following are some of them the Columns the Judges cited: One about the N.F.L. star Reggie White’s remarks Homosexuality is a fact. “one of the biggest sins.”

Her role as editor was confirmed. at The Times, 2014. Her work was on the Foreign and national desks, before she made her way back into sports coverage. at night, and served as mentor to younger staff members, especially women.

Mary Gwen Knapp was born in Wilmington, Del., on November 18, 1961. Laurence Knapp was her father and a pilot. the Delaware Bay and River Eleanor (Agnew) Knapp her mother was the Director of Education and Museum Operations at the Hagley Museum and Library

Ms. Knapp got the Her mother was a sports enthusiast and she passed this trait on to her daughter. the Near Philadelphia Phillies “We grew up with WDEL, with the Phillies game on, and my mom yelling at the radio when she was driving us to swimming,” Ms. McClements said.

You can become a teacher after you have graduated. the Mount Pleasant High School’s valedictorian was Ms. Knapp. She attended Harvard University where she studied history. Her on the Swimming team and was the Sports editor the The Crimson, a student newspaper.

She was on her way home from college and she stopped by to ask her dad (who had been a high school football coach) for explanations. the She was passionate about sport. After deciding to do sports journalism, she wanted to get more education.

After graduating Harvard University, Ms. Knapp worked as a journalist and editor at The Wilmington News-Journal covering high school sports. at The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Philadelphia Inquirer. She spent 17 more years as a columnist for San Francisco. at The Examiner at The Chronicle: After the two newspapers’ staffs were combined in 2000.

Ms. Knapp was clear-eyed, forceful writer. the She struggled with writing and reporting.

“For her, putting her heart and mind out on the page was in some ways a bit frightening,” Chuck Culpepper was a Washington Post reporter covering sports and is close to Ms. Knapp. He said that Ms. Knapp used to ask her houseguests to move out when she lived in San Francisco’s one-bedroom apartment. the She could write all day, so it was easier for her to do.

Rebecca Knapp Adams, Rebecca’s sister, described Ms. Knapp as working in. the Wee hours of worry and stress: “Am I getting both sides? Am I being fair here?”

Nancy Cooney, an Inquirer colleague, stated that she did not write columns on Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong because of a moral absolutism over drugs. Instead, her columns were written out of a sense fairness. The two men’s comments and behavior “offended her sense of right and wrong,” Ms. Cooney stated.

Ms. Knapp surveyed the Chronicle’s 2012 final column. the She had been writing for many years about drug use in sport and why it was important.

“Without the belief that sports have some higher value than entertainment, they forfeit their special place in our culture,” she wrote. “For all the flaws of the sports, they represent the purest meritocracy we have. They advanced desegregation in this country ahead of the general population, and for the same reason, they should get over homophobia immediately.”

Susan, Rebecca and Ms. Knapp were her siblings. the She is survived by her mother and Nancy Knapp Piccione in Morningside Heights, Manhattan.

Although she is best remembered for how serious she dealt with certain topics, Ms. Knapp was open to all that sports had to offer. Ms. Knapp was a great fan of all things sports. article of hers that colleagues remember most This was published on July 4, 1993. the Doubleheader by Phillies at In at 4:40 the morning. To capture the full picture the delirium of the game, the She was the latest ending in baseball history.

“Mickey Morandini, dragging himself through the clubhouse and past his weary teammates, seemed to understand the continuum,” She wrote. “‘See you today,’ he said. And he was right.”