“I have two tools: my words and images.” -Ruth Gruber
Today is Ruth Gruber’s 100th birthday. She is a remarkable woman, and has had some amazing life experiences as a photojournalist, writer, and humanitarian.
She was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1911, and went to New York University at the age of fifteen. She went on to become the youngest person in the world to earn a PhD, which she did in only one year while on a fellowship from the Institute of International Education to study at the University of Cologne in Germany. Her time in Germany coincided with the rise of Nazism, and she returned to the United States with an awareness of the dangers of Nazism. During World War II, she worked for the United States Secretary of the Interior, even going on a secret war mission in 1944. She talks about this effort to bring 1000 Jewish refugees and wounded American soldiers to the United States from Italy in her book, Haven. After the war, her work as a photojournalist and writer took her around the world. This video from The Open Road shows more about the inspiring Ruth Gruber.