Simon & Schuster will publish a biography on the late astronaut Sally Ride by award-winning journalist Lynn Sherr. Alice Mayhew, Vice President and Editorial Director, acquired the rights from Esther Newberg, ICM Partners. Publication is planned for 2013.
Lynn Sherr covered the space shuttle program for ABC News for more than five years, from the first flight in 1981 through the Challenger explosion and the investigation into what happened. Sherr got to know Sally Ride very well, both as a subject and later as a friend, and she has exclusive access to Ride's family for this book.
This is a story that will be told by the people who knew her best: her family, her friends, her crewmates and commanders at NASA, her colleagues on a series of investigative commissions, and the other pioneering women in her astronaut class. It will also be the first in-depth look at the unusually private woman beyond the spacesuit, as recalled by her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy.
Sherr says, "It's not only Sally's life story — the girl from California who was supposed to be a tennis pro but shot for the stars instead — but it's what made her special. She worked extremely hard to get it right at NASA, and she intuitively grasped the significance of her breakthrough as the first American woman in space as a catalyst for inspiring girls to learn about science and math, and how it would make the world a better place. And she had so much fun doing it."
"People may take Sally Ride's enormous achievement a little for granted after all these years, but it was huge at the time and in fact for all time. Her story is literally thrilling," adds Alice Mayhew. "She was a serious and modest person as well as a brave and daring one, and she has the biographer she deserves in Lynn Sherr. We are proud to be part of this."
In addition to being about Sally Ride's heroic and trailblazing life as an astronaut, this book is a capsule history of the Space Shuttle program — in all its glory and its disappointments. Ultimately, NASA would not be able to hold on to a free spirit like Sally, who blazed a trail for thousands of young women. For many, she remains their hero.
Award-winning broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr spent more than thirty years with ABC News, covering a wide range of stories — from women's issues and social change to investigative reports, politics and the space program at "20/20" and "World News." She continues to broadcast for various outlets, and to write for magazines and online.
She is also the author of Swim: Why We Love the Water, Outside the Box: My Unscripted Life of Love, Loss and Television News, Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words, and Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes, which was also the subject of a one-hour documentary for the PBS Nature program.
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