Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Media Personality

Dr. Ruth Westheimer may best be known for having pioneered talking explicitly about sex on radio and television, but as it turns out, that is only a small part of her rich and diversified life. Born in Germany in 1928, Dr. Westheimer was sent to Switzerland atthe age of ten to escape the Holocaust, which wiped out her entire immediate family. At the age of seventeen she went to then Palestine where she joined the Haganah, the Israeli freedom fighters, was trained to be a sniper and was seriously wounded in a bomb blast. She later moved to Paris to study at the Sorbonne and in 1956 went to the U.S. where she obtained her Masters Degree (M.A.) in Sociology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School of Social Research and Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in the Interdisciplinary Study of the Family from Columbia University Teacher's College.


Her work for Planned Parenthood led her to study human sexuality under Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, where she became an Adjunct Associate Professor. Subsequently she taught courses at various institutions of higher learning including Princeton and Yale. She currently is teaching a course at both Columbia's Teachers College and Hunter College. She continues to lecture worldwide.


She is the author of 46 books, including Stay or Go, Roller Coaster Grandma and Crocodile You're Beautiful.  She's been the executive producer of five documentaries.  She can be found on Twitter @AskDrRuth where she has over 92,000 followers. A one-woman show about her life, “Becoming Dr. Ruth” has played in the Berkshires, Hartford and off-Broadway and continues to tour. And a documentary about her life, Ask Dr. Ruth, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival as well as theaters across the country and is now airing on Hulu. Dr. Westheimer, a widow, has two children, four grandchildren and resides in New York City.

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