She was well known in the San Francisco area for focusing on subjects like racism, sexism and drugs, in columns that sometimes angered sports stars.

Gwen Knapp, a prominent sports reporter and columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer and The San Francisco Chronicle and most recently an editor on the sports desk of The New York Times, died on Friday in Manhattan. She was 61.

The cause was lymphoma, her sister Susan Knapp McClements said.

Ms. Knapp spent nearly 30 years reporting on sports. She became a sports columnist in 1995, one of only a handful of women in the country to have that title at the time. Her predecessor at The San Francisco Examiner was Joan Ryan, one of the first.

Ms. Knapp was particularly well known among sports fans in the Bay Area for her focus on subjects like racism, sexism and drugs. Her columns drew the ire of some of the biggest

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