Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Dr. Ruth Westheimer was born in Germany and in 1938 was sent to a children’s home in Switzerland  which became an orphanage for most of the German Jewish students who had been sent there to escape the Holocaust.  At 17 she went to Israel, where she fought for Israel’s independence as a member of the Haganah.  She then moved to Paris, where she studied at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten, and then came to the United States in 1956. Here she obtained her masters degree in sociology from the New School of Social Research, and in 1970, she received her doctorate of education from Columbia University Teacher’s College.

Dr. Ruth is a psychosexual therapist who helped to pioneer the field of media psychology with her radio program, Sexually Speaking.  She has communicated in almost every media available: radio, television, print, games, home video, computer software, Twitter and her own website, www.drruth.com.   Her unique style has enabled her to make wide use of the mass media to spread what she has labeled sexual literacy. Her radio and television career has spanned both broadcast and cable  in the United States and around the world.  Her first TV show aired locally in New York and then went national as The Dr Ruth Show, followed by Ask Dr. Ruth, The All New Dr. Ruth Show and What’s Up Dr. Ruth and You’re On the Air with Dr Ruth.

After working at Planned Parenthood, she was prompted to further her education in human sexuality at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, where she then worked as an adjunct associate professor.   In addition to her own private practice, she also has taught at Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Adelphi University, Columbia University and West Point. She is currently an adjunct professor at NYU and an associate fellow of Calhoun College at Yale University, a fellow of Butler College at Princeton University and a fellow of New York Academy of Medicine.  From 2004 to 2010, she taught at both Princeton and Yale. A frequent lecturer at universities across the country, she has twice been named College Lecturer of the Year, has appeared on the List of Most Intriguing People of the Century and been included in Good Housekeeping‘s list of 125 Women Who Changed the World.  She has received numerous honorary degrees and awards.

She is the author of 36 books, including Sex For Dummies, which has been translated into 17 languages and her newest, Sexually Speaking: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Sexual Health, which will be published in December 2012. She’s  produced five documentaries including her latest, Shifting Sands: Bedouin Women at the Crossroads.

She is a member of the board of YM-YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, where she served as its president for 11 years, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.  Dr Westheimer has two children and four grandchildren.