I noticed that McClatchy Washington Bureau didn't write a complete story of Sally Ride's life. It left out the important person in her life. BBB
Tam O'Shaughnessy: About Sally Ride's Partner Of 27 Years
By Connor Adams Sheets
July 23, 2012
Dr. Tam O'Shaughnessy was Sally Ride's partner for 27 years, but their partnership was cut short Monday when Ride, the first American woman in space, died of pancreatic cancer at just 61 years old.
Ride was an American heroine, looked up to by a generation of science lovers ever since she made history by blasting into space on NASA's shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983. On that day, she became the first American woman in space.
But her longtime partner, O'Shaughnessy, is a very accomplished woman in her own right.
O'Shaughnessy was by Ride's side throughout the astronaut's 17-month battle against cancer, and, before Ride became ill, they co-authored four books, including "Mission: Planet Earth: Our World and Its Climate -- and How Humans Are Changing Them" and "Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System."
O'Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University, is also chief operating officer and executive vice president of Ride's foundation, Sally Ride Science, where the duo and their staff nurtured young students and worked to encourage them to pursue their passions in science, technology, engineering and math.
Like Ride, O'Shaughnessy was interested in science from a very young age, and "one of her favorite childhood memories is of watching tadpoles in a creek gradually sprout legs, go green and turn into frogs," according to her bio on the Sally Ride Science website.
After moving on from tadpoles to high school, O'Shaughnessy attended Georgia State University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in biology. She went on to teach college biology, then went on to earn a doctorate degree in school psychology from the University of California, Riverside, after her interest in the psychology of learning was piqued by her experience as a professor.
O'Shaugnessy has gone on to do many things in her career, writing nine childrens' science books, as well as helping her partner "found Sally Ride Science because of her long-standing commitment to science education and her recognition of the importance of supporting girls' interests in science," according to the foundation's website.
Though Ride was open about her partnership with O'Shaughnessy, it does not appear to have been a controversial topic.
The two became partners in 1985 -- two years after Ride's history-making NASA flight -- but they first met while playing tennis at the age of 12 years old. They were together until the very end, when Ride died Monday in La Jolla, Calif., after inspiring a nation to dream big.
In addition to O'Shaughnessy, Ride is survived by her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin; and her nephew, Whitney.
Those who are so inclined can click here to donate to the Sally Ride Pancreatic Cancer Initiative.
(Photo: sallyridescience.com)<br>Tam O'Shaughnessy (pictured here) was Sally Ride's partner for 27 years, but their partnership was cut short Monday when Ride, the first American woman in space, died of pancreatic cancer at just 61 years old.