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Nancy Bass Wyden

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Nancy Bass Wyden
BornNancy Ann Bass
April 11, 1961
Queens, NY
🏳️ Nationality
🏫 EducationMBA, University of Wisconsin–Madison
💼 Occupation
Owner of Strand Bookstore
📆 Years active  34 years
TitleOwner, Strand Book Store
👩 Spouse(s)
Ron Wyden (m. 2005)
👶 Children3

Nancy Bass Wyden (born 1961) is an American businesswoman and the owner of New York City’s Strand Book Store.[1] Wyden is the third generation owner of the independent bookstore, often described as the home of “18 Miles of Books”[2] and as one of New York’s best bookstores[3]

Early Life[edit]

Wyden is the daughter of Patricia Miller and Fred Bass. Her grandfather, Benjamin Bass, was an emigrant from Lithuania who founded the Strand Book Store in 1927. Her father, Fred, took management of the store in 1956, eventually moving the store from its original location on New York’s Book Row to its current location on the corner of Broadway at 12th street.[2] Wyden's life in The Strand’s stacks began at age 6, sharpening pencils for staff.[4] At 16, she began taking phone requests, working the cash register, and managing the store’s Central Park kiosks.[5] After receiving her MBA from the University of Wisconsin and working briefly for Exxon, Nancy returned to New York City to work for her father at The Strand.[2]


Wyden officially joined The Strand as a manager in 1986. She established the store’s Books by the Foot department, curating custom book collections and private libraries.[6] She spearheaded major renovations and expansions of the store in 2005, and supervised the rollout of The Strand’s official bookish merchandise, including t-shirts and totes, which now account for over 15% of the business’s revenue.[7] Wyden co-owned the bookstore with her father[6], until her father’s death in 2018[2]

Personal Life[edit]

Wyden is married to senior United States Senator for Oregon, Ron Wyden.[8] They met while Nancy was on a trip to Portland to see Powell’s Bookstore.[9] Nancy and Ron married on Oregon’s Cannon Beach in 2005.[10] The couple have three children: twins born in 2007, and a daughter born in 2012.[8]



  1. "Wife of Oregon senator expecting twins". The Seattle Times. Seattle, WA. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Grimes, William (3 January 2018). "Fred Bass, Who Made the Strand Bookstore a Mecca, Dies at 89". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  3. Cha, Frances (3 August 2015). "Bookmark this! World's best bookstores". CNN. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  4. "The Author's Bookshelf: The Bass Family". strandbooks.com. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  5. "In my library: Nancy Bass Wyden". New York Post. New York, NY. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Strand bookstore at 90: Co-owner Nancy Bass Wyden looks back – and ahead". AM New York Metro. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  7. Noto, Anthony (20 February 2019). "The Strand bookstore fights landmark status as it battles for survival". New York Business Journal. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Maffucci, Samantha (5 December 2018). "Who is Ron Wyden's Wife? New Details on Nancy Bass Wyden". yourtango.com. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  9. "Satisfied Powell's Customer: Bass to Wed Senator". Shelf Awareness. 13 July 2005. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  10. "Weddings". Julie Adams Photography. Retrieved 21 February 2020.

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