Westheimer, Ruth

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Westheimer, Ruth Gender: F
Karola Ruth Siegel
born on 4 June 1928 at 04:00 (= 04:00 AM )
Place Wiesenfeld (Karlstadt), Germany, 49n5937, 9e4052
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 13°14' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 19°59 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 06°44'

Ruth Westheimer (1988)
photo: David Shankbone, license gfdl


German-American psychosexual therapist known as Dr. Ruth. A flamboyant psychiatrist, broadcaster and writer, she doles out sex advice like chicken soup in her cheerful German accent, creating a phenomenally successful radio show. A pioneer in radio talk-shows, she began a 15-minute show called "Sexually Speaking" in September, 1980. With her immense popularity, she went on TV, wrote a newspaper column and published five books including an autobiography, "All In A Lifetime."

She was born on the farm of her grandparents in Wiesenfeld, now part of Karlstadt in northern Bavaria, and grew up during ten years in Frankfurt, Germany. Karola Siegel was sent to Switzerland at the age of ten to a school which became an orphanage for most of the German-Jewish students sent there. She never saw her family again, and now believes they perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was an unhappy time at the school where the girl was treated like a second class citizen, working as a maid for the Swiss Jewish girls. She frequently caused concern amongst the teachers with her loquacious nature and willingness to share her knowledge on taboo subjects, such as menstruation, with the other girls.

After the war, at 17 Karola emigrated with some of her friends to Israel, then Palestine, and became a Zionist. She changed her first name to Ruth and joined the Haganah, the Jewish underground movement fighting for creation of a Jewish homeland. On 5/14/1948, Israel declared its Independence and on June 4, Ruth’s Birthday, she was wounded when a bomb exploded outside the kibbutz where she lived - taking off the top of one of her feet. Her recovery was difficult and slow.

Because of her tiny four-foot-seven-inch (140 cm) frame, Ruth frequently worried that she would never marry, lamenting in her diary, "Nobody is going to want me because I’m short and ugly." However, in 1950, an Israeli soldier from her kibbutz proposed marriage and she accepted impulsively. The young couple moved to Paris, where Ruth studied psychology at the Sorbonne and taught kindergarten while her husband studied medicine. Ruth later recounted to McCall’s magazine, "everybody around me didn’t have money. We went to cafes and had one cup of coffee all day long. Everybody." The marriage ended after five years and her husband went back to Israel while Ruth emigrated to the U.S. in 1956.

Arriving in New York, Ruth gave birth to a baby girl, Miriam, and divorced. She worked as a housemaid to support her daughter while studying English and taking evening classes at the New School. In 1959, she graduated with her Masters degree in sociology and went to work as a research assistant at Columbia University.

After earning her doctorate at Columbia, she became Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University. While lecturing at colleges and universities, she built a private practice in New York City. She studied human sexuality with Dr. Helen Singer-Kaplan at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center.

While on a ski trip in the Catskill Mountains with her six-foot tall boyfriend in 1961, Ruth met and fell in love with Manfred Westheimer, also a Jewish refugee and a much more compatible physical match for Ruth at five foot five inches. Nine months later, they were married. Ruth became an American citizen shortly after, and soon the couple had a son, Joel. Her third husband Manfred Westheimer died in 1997.

Full of life and zeal, Dr. Ruth is a pioneer in spreading what she has labeled "sexual literacy." She has been twice named "College Lecturer of the Year." "The Dr. Ruth Show" is syndicated nationally and internationally

Link to Wikipedia biography

Link to Astrodienst discussion forum


  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 4 June 1948 (Injured in bombing, top of foot)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 1950 (First marriage)
  • Family : Change residence 1956 (Moved to U.S.)
  • Social : End a program of study 1959 (Received her Masters degree)
  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship 1961 (Manfred Westheimer)
  • Work : New Career September 1980 (Radio talk show host)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Evelyn Herbertz quotes her in person at a TV taping for the Dick Wolfsie Night Talk Show on 11/16/1985


  • Traits : Body : Size (4' 7" tiny)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Childhood family sent to Auschwitz)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two, one daughter and one son)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Israel then America)
  • Vocation : Education : Public speaker (Named Lecturer of the Year)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (University professor)
  • Vocation : Healing Fields : Psychiatrist
  • Vocation : Healing Fields : Other Healing Fields (Sex therapist)
  • Vocation : Sex Business : Other Sex Bus (Sexologist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (All in a Lifetime)