Ruth Westheimer portrait
Ruth K. Westheimer

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer was born in Germany in 1928. At the age of 10 she was sent to a children’s home in Switzerland to escape the Holocaust. At 17, she went to Israel, where she fought for Israel’s independence as a member of the Haganah and was severely wounded in a bomb blast. She moved to Paris, where she studied at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten, and then went to the U.S. in 1956 where she received a master’s in sociology from the New School of Social Research. In 1970, she received a doctorate of education from Columbia University Teachers College.

A psychosexual therapist, “Dr. Ruth” was a pioneer the field of media psychology through her radio program, Sexually Speaking. She has communicated in almost every media form — radio, television, print, games, home video, computer software and social media — to spread what she has labelled “sexual literacy.”  Her radio and television career has spanned both broadcast and cable, both in the US and around the world.

In addition to her private practice, she taught at Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Adelphi, Columbia, Yale and Princeton universities, and West Point. A frequent lecturer at universities across the U.S., she twice was named “College Lecturer of the Year.”

She is the author of 46 books, including Sex For Dummies, which has been translated into 17 languages, and her newest, The Joy of Connections, which will be published in October 2024. She’s produced five documentaries, been the subject of one, Ask Dr. Ruth, and the subject of a one-woman play, Becoming Dr. Ruth.

Ruth K. Westheimer was recently appointed “Ambassador to Loneliness” by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. She has two children and four grandchildren.