Copake – Le Anne Schreiber was born on Aug. 4, 1945, in Evanston, Ill. Her father, Newton, worked in the photography division of Life magazine, and her mother, Beatrice, was a homemaker.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice University in Houston and a master’s in English from Stanford University on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. She then accepted a Harvard Prize Fellowship for five more years of postgraduate study at Harvard, where she was planning for a career teaching English literature, when she decided that journalism might be a more exciting pursuit.
She was hired by Time magazine. Starting in 1974, she originally covered international politics, but due to a writer’s strike in the sports department, she was sent to cover the Montreal Olympics. Once there she wrote three cover stories for Time in three weeks. And she’d never written a sports story before.
That began a meteoric rise in sports journalism. She was hired by womenSports magazine as the editor-in-chief two months after the Olympics and joined The New York Times a year and a half later in 1978 becoming the first woman to run a major American daily newspaper’s sports section.
After leaving the sports section in September 1980, Ms. Schreiber spent nearly four years as deputy editor of The Times Book Review. Although several women have been deputy sports editors at The Times since her departure, none have held the top job.
After leaving The Times in 1984, she moved to Ancram where she renovated an old Victorian house, took up fly fishing, helped to co-found a theatre company at the Ancram Opera House, and wrote her first memoir, “Midstream.” It is a dual account of her mother’s death and Ms. Schreiber’s life in Ancram. Also while living in Ancram and then Copake, she wrote many freelance articles for magazines as disparate as Discover and O. Two articles she wrote for Glamour magazine about abortion won a National Magazine Award in 1992. Her second memoir, “Light Years,” was published in 1996. A book of reflective essays, it was written after her parents and brother, Michael, had died, all of cancer.
Ms. Schreiber taught English at the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany and in 2007, she returned to sports for two years as ESPN’s ombudswoman. For the past four years she was a volunteer teacher of English in the ELS Program at Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook. She was also a member of the Grace Outreach Advisory Board.
Ms. Schreiber had no immediate family members. A Memorial Service will be held in the Ancram/Copake area later in the summer at a date yet to be decided.