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Ruth Gruber Biography

Ruth Gruber Biography

Ruth Gruber is an American journalist, photographer, writer, humanitarian and a former United States government official. Ruth Gruber was born on September 30, 1911 in Brooklyn. Her parents were Russian Jewish immigrants. She dreamed of becoming a writer and was encouraged by her parents to obtain higher education. She graduated from college at the age of 18 and was the youngest person to earn a Ph.D at age 20. She traveled extensively taking photos in places such as the Arctic Circle and Alaska. Ruth Gruber worked for Harold Ickes the Secretary of the Interior under Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1944, she was assigned a secret mission to Europe to bring one thousand Jewish refugees and wounded American soldiers from Italy to the US. Ickes made her “a simulated general” so in case the military aircraft she flew in was shot down and she was caught by the Nazis, she would be kept alive according to the Geneva Convention. In 1947 she documented the plight of Jewish refugees after WWII and the treatment they suffered in British DP camps and on ships trying to get to Palestine. In 1985 (at the age of 74) she traveled to Ethiopia to document the rescue and exodus of the Ethiopian Jews to Israel. She has written numerous books and has received many prestigious awards. (Written by Ramona Brand for this lesson plan)

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruth Gruber Biography." (Viewed on December 8, 2019) <https://jwa.org/node/25279>.


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