Ohio-born author remembered for a 2001 memoir entitled The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. The film adaptation of the work was released in 2005.
After graduating from Bowling Green State University, she settled in San Francisco, California.
She and her nine siblings grew up in Defiance, Ohio. Sadly, she died of lung cancer at the age of sixty.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom presided over Ryan's 2004 marriage to partner Pat Holt.