Female sports journalists have been on the rise, and many have closed the gender gap in this profession. Mina Kimes is among these women. Mina is multi-talented, starting out as a business journalist at Fortune, then onto Bloomberg as an investigative reporter, and finally landing at ESPN as a sports reporter. She’s got it all – beauty, brains and a following.
Kimes, 36, was born in Omaha, Nebraska to a family of Korean immigrants. She is very private and has kept details about her early life guarded so there is not a lot of information, but we can assume she was a very good high school student as she went on to Yale to graduate Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Kimes didn’t study journalism, but her excellent writing skills helped her defy the odds. Her first position out of college as a business journalist for Fortune Small Business Magazine was in 2007. She wrote many exceptional pieces for the magazine and earned the Henry R Luce award for one of her articles. Her work was also listed in the Columbia Journalism Review and she also won awards from the New York Press Club, the National Press Club, and the Asian American Journalists Association.
She joined Bloomberg News in 2013 as an investigative reporter. She wrote extraordinary profiles on business executives Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar and Eddie Lampert of Sears. These pieces helped her to win the prestigious Front Page Award for business reporting.
In 2014, she was offered a position from ESPN after she wrote an essay on her Tumblr account about a “bond between herself and her dad and the Seattle Seahawks.” She has been covering the NFL for a while now and has been one of the best at her job. She’s written profiles on namely NFL players such as Aaron Rodgers, Darrelle Revis, Tyrod Taylor, Antonio Brown, Baker Mayfield, and Michael and Martellus Bennett. She was the senior editor of ESPN Magazine until they stopped publication in 2019 and panelist for Highly Questionable until the show was cancelled in September 2021. She is currently a panelist on the very popular Around the Horn.
From 2019-2020, Kimes has hosted ESPN Daily, a daily news podcast where she brings an inside look at the most interesting stories on ESPN from breaking news on SportsCenter to deep diving into stories on 30 for 30.
Mina is known to be affable and fun. She has another podcast, The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny, where she talks all things football with her unique brand of humor and insight. Her friends join each episode to talk about the NFL’s latest storylines along with her football-loving pooch, Lenny, making frequent contributions.
Kimes decided to give her dog a presence on the podcast because, she says, “I thought, ‘Well, I probably need a male co-host for people to listen.’’ Lenny is certainly a fan favorite.
Mina is also a philanthropist. She loves to paint and posts her football-themed watercolor paintings on Instagram. She says it’s just a hobby, but she noticed a lot of people were liking them, so she started auctioning them off for a non-profit that she’s done work with called Compassion Through Action. This organization helps the local homeless community.
Mina Kimes is one that we are going to hear a lot more about. She has worked hard and been presented with a lot of incredible opportunities. The one she counts as her biggest highlight came in the summer of 2019:
“I had the opportunity to do color commentary for the Los Angeles Rams during the preseason. I would say while I was doing that, it kind of struck me that my life and job had changed a lot and in ways that I had never anticipated because it was something I never really thought was possible or dreamed of.”
Life certainly has a way of taking us where we are supposed to be because Mina is a natural.