The former jockey was named Racing Journalist of the Year in 2002, and also presented on television channel racing UK.
He had been battling lung cancer.
Racehorse trainer and friend Richard Fahey said yesterday: “Devastated to say that Tom O’Ryan passed away earlier today. Can’t say how much we will all miss him. We’ve lost the voice of the North.
“Tom was an incredible horseman and brilliant writer. Racing is a poorer sport without him in it.”
Trainer Jonjo O’Neill said he was “heartbroken and lost for words” by the news of Tom’s death, while fellow jumps trainer Donald McCain said he was “always a pleasure to deal with and a real gentleman”.
Leading Flat jockey Jamie Spencer described Tom as a “proper man and a writer full of integrity” and National Hunt rider Tom Scudamore said he was “a gentleman and wise man of the press room”.
Tom is survived by his wife, Wendy, and his brother, Robin, who is travelling head lad for Fahey.