Casey Ryan McIntyre
February 1 1985 - November 12, 2023
Casey Ryan McIntyre, 38, beloved mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece, and aunt, died from late stage ovarian cancer on November 12th, 2023. As Publisher at Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, she derived great joy from publishing books for a new generation of readers, and saw herself in every child sprawled out on a couch, rug, or bunk bed engrossed in their latest book obsession.
Casey grew up on 190th Street in Manhattan and then in Tenafly, New Jersey, where she developed a lifelong love of creative writing, and swam competitively for the Ridgewood Breakers. Most of her summers were spent at YMCA Camp Fuller in Rhode Island, swimming, sailing, and gossiping. Until her end, she remained happiest in water, preferably in a pool with a book. She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, where she made enduring friendships and studied music and creative writing. While editor of the campus newspaper, she also found the time to write humor pieces and concert reviews for the Atlanta alternative weekly, Creative Loafing.
On the recommendation of her Agnes Scott advisor, she attended The Denver Publishing Institute, which served as a springboard into the New York publishing industry. She arrived at her first interview at Penguin soaked to the bone from a rainstorm, and left as a publicist’s assistant. She was an consummate New Yorker who always knew which bodegas had the best magazine selections, whether to take the B or the Q train, what restaurants were best for spotting celebrities on her lunch break, and gave every new New Yorker the same advice: make sure you buy a coat that covers your butt, because that’s where you lose a lot of warmth.
Casey was incredibly proud to have supported a series of remarkable authors throughout her career as a publicist at Penguin Young Readers Group, a publicist at Harper Collins, and as Publisher at Razorbill including Katherine Applegate, The Tiny Chef, Brian Jacques, Akilah Hughes, Jessica Goodman, Tomie dePaola, Maryah Greene, Loren Long, Marie Lu, Richelle Mead, Terry Pratchett, Jon Scieszka, Veronica Roth, Emily J. Taylor, the March for Our Lives founders, and Sabaa Tahir, who last year won Razorbill’s first National Book Award.
She was an adoring mother and wife who was in turn adored by her husband Andrew Rose Gregory and her daughter Grace Valentine Gregory. She is also survived by her parents, John and Colleen McIntyre, her sister, Jane McIntyre, her parent in-laws Dana Rose (Randy), Russell Gregory, and her loving sibling in-laws Evan Gregory (Sarah) and Michael Gregory (Mod) and many more aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is also survived by four nephews and one niece who she incessantly, indefatigably, and impossibly doted on: Rose, Augustus, Ollie, Clyde, and Theo.
Her greatest gifts and joys were her ready and generous wit, her easy and loud laugh, her devotion to her family and friends, and her astonishing determination and grit. She knew the lyrics to every song, recognized every face, and generally started every karaoke session with Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Something to Talk About.’
Casey’s determination served her well after her devastating diagnosis in October 2019. She was cared for by a top-notch medical team that Casey was exceptionally grateful for, and thanks to them and Casey’s tenacity, we all had four more years with Casey. Her team included Dr. Caryn St. Clair of Columbia University Hospital, and Dr. Claire Friedman, Dr. Yukio Sonoda, and Dr. Ying Liu, all of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. At Sloan Kettering, Casey was also attended by a truly spectacular, loving group of research and chemotherapy nurses, who for better or worse, told her that she could check in on the 6th floor and then wait to start chemo while dining on a shrimp cocktail at P.J. Clarke’s two blocks away. She also felt incredibly cared for and guided during her most difficult moments by her psychologists, Dr. Talia Zaider of Memorial Sloan Kettering and Marni Low. In her last six months, she was wonderfully cared for by the Visiting Nurse Service Home Hospice team and Erika Muller, a private aide. Her family thanks you all.
In a posthumous act that she had planned for months with her husband, Casey announced her death (calling it “horseshit” in a social media post that went viral) and a memorial & debt jubilee two days after her death. In partnership with the charity RIP Medical Debt, she and her family planned to buy medical debt for a penny on the dollar and destroy it. This message and mission echoed around the world, and was covered by publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The BBC, and People Magazine. In its first week, her campaign raised over $600,000, eliminating more than 60 Million dollars in medical debt. Casey believed that medical debt is an immoral, imaginary, blight on our society, and would be delighted that her strong feelings about this issue had struck such a chord with so many.
Her memorial service & debt jubilee will take place for friends and family in December. We will cry and sing, then symbolically destroy the debt — hopefully with a bonfire if they will let us. If attending the memorial & debt jubilee, please wear something that expresses your deep sorrow at our loss, as well as something that expresses the joy you feel for having ever known Casey. If you would like to give to Grace’s college fund, please contact a member of the family.