Phil Ryan was born in San Francisco in 1939. After discharge from in Army, he entered public service in 1962, as the youngest legislative aide in the California legislature, and worked as a civil rights organizer during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. Ryan attended Santa Clara University and graduated cum laude from Howard University Law School. Upon graduation from law school, he served as the Project Director of the New Mobilization to end the Vietnam War.
Crafting a high-profile career as a trial lawyer, Ryan specialized in criminal defense and entertainment law, representing famous movie and rock stars, all-star professional athletes as well as elected public officials. The San Francisco Chronicle featured him as “San Francisco’s Rock n’ Roll Lawyer.”
After retiring from law in 2006, Ryan wrote books, essays, news stories and poetry. His first novel, All Sins Remembered, was set in San Francisco in the early 1900’s and like The Legend of Belle Cora, is a passionate history of a defining period of the city.
Phil died in 2018 after a long battle with cancer.