Joan was born in New York City and graduated from the Fieldston School and Bryn Mawr college, where she studied with W.H. Auden. She started as a freelance journalist in the 1960s, writing under her maiden name Joan Gould. Her work appeared in many publications including Esquire, Life, Sports Illustrated, McCall’s and frequently in The New York Times, where she contributed many travel articles and a series of pieces for their esteemed Hers column in the 1980s. She also authored a trio of published books reflecting her evolving perspective of life’s stages, Otherborn (1980), Spirals: A Woman’s Journey Through Family Life (1988) and Spinning Straw into Gold (2005).
Apart from her writing, Joan’s passionate life hobby was sailing. She raced within the Rhodes and Ensign classes and was the skipper of her own boat long before it was common for women to do so.
Joan’s long life encompassed two widely spaced marriages. For 28 years Joan was married to Martin Kleinbard, a litigation partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. They had three children (Edward, Kathy and David) before Martin’s untimely death in 1978. Joan later dated her second husband, Arnold Corrigan, for two decades after they met at a Fieldston reunion before they finally married at age 87 – the oldest couple for whom the rabbi had performed a wedding ceremony. Arnold predeceased her in 2016.
Joan is survived by her children Kathy and David (her elder son Edward having died of cancer in 2020); her grandchildren Kate, Adrian, Martin, Ruby and Eli; five great-grandchildren; and by her long-time companion, chef and caretaker, Anne Kofod, whose steadfast patience and diligence for all of Joan’s needs for 35 years cannot be overstated.