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Dr. Ruth W
                                      Dr. Ruth Westheimer - estheimer - A SelfA Self Made W Made Womanoman
                                      Dr. Ruth Westheimer - A Self Made Woman
                                      Dr. Ruth Westheimer - estheimer - A SelfA Self Made W Made Womanoman
                                      Dr. Ruth W
                                                                                better now and so does everyone who
         Ruth Westheimer (born June 4, 1928,  violence growing, so in January 1939                                      Dr. Ruth’s media career began in 1980
       age 92), better known as Dr. Ruth, is  they sent Westheimer on           listens to my radio program.” Westheimer  when her radio show, Sexually Speaking,
       a German-American sex therapist,     the Kindertransport to Switzerland. 11-  joined the Haganah in Jerusalem. Because  debuted on WYNY-FM in New York
       media personality, author, radio,    year-old Westheimer arrived at an   of her diminutive height of 4 ft 7 in  City. She was offered this opportunity after
       television talk show host,           orphanage of a Jewish charity       (1.40 m), she was trained as          she gave a lecture to New York
       and Holocaust survivor. Her media    in Heiden and took on the role of a  a scout and sniper. Of this experience, she  broadcasters about the need for sex
       career began in 1980 with the radio  caregiver and mother-like figure to the  said, “I never killed anybody, but I know  education programming to help deal with
       show Sexually Speaking, which continued  younger children there. Westheimer  how to throw hand grenades and shoot.” [  issues of contraception and unwanted
       until 1990. She has hosted several series  was not allowed to take classes at the   In 1948, Westheimer was seriously  pregnancies. Betty Elam, the community
       on the Lifetime Channel and other cable  local school, but a fellow orphan boy  wounded in action by an        affairs manager at WYNY, was impressed
       television networks from 1984 to 1993  would sneak his textbooks to      exploding shell during the 1947–1949  with her talk and offered Westheimer $25
       and is the author of 45 books on sex and  Westheimer at night so she could learn  Palestine war, and it was several months  per week to make Sexually Speaking, which
       sexuality.                           and continue her education.         before she was able to walk again.    started as a 15-minute show airing every
                                              While at the orphanage, Westheimer  In 1950, Westheimer moved to France,  Sunday at midnight. By 1983 her show was
         Early life and education           corresponded with her mother and    where she studied and then taught     the top-rated radio show in the area, and in
         Westheimer was born Karola Ruth    grandmother via letters. When the   psychology at the University of Paris. In  1984 NBC Radio began syndicating it
       Siegel on June 4, 1928, in Wiesenfeld  letters ceased in 1941, Westheimer knew  1956, she immigrated to the United States,  nationwide as the Dr. Ruth Show. She went
       (now part of Karlstadt am            she would not hear from them again.  settling in Washington Heights,      on to produce her radio show until
       Main), Germany, the only child       The details of her parents’ deaths due to  Manhattan. Westheimer earned   1990. Described as the “Sister Wendy of
       of Orthodox Jews, Irma (née Hanauer), a  the Holocaust are also included in the  an M.A. degree in sociology from The New  Sexuality”, Dr. Ruth helped to
       housekeeper, and Julius Siegel,      Hulu documentary about Westheimer   School in 1959 and an Ed.D. degree    revolutionize talk about sex and sexuality
       a notions wholesaler and son of the  titled Ask Dr. Ruth. Her father was  from Teachers College, Columbia      on radio and television, and she was noted
       family for whom Irma worked.  She    killed in the Auschwitz concentration  University in 1970.                for having “an accent only a psychologist
       was given an early grounding         camp in 1942. Her mother was killed   Westheimer became a naturalized U.S.  could love”. She became known for being
       in Judaism by her father, who took her  during the Holocaust, but there is no  citizen in 1965. She regained her German  candid and funny, but respectful, and for
       regularly to the synagogue in        specific information about her death, or  citizenship in 2007 through the German  her tag phrase “Get some”. One journalist
       the Nordend district of Frankfurt,   about how and when she died. In the  Citizenship Project that enabled     described her unique voice as “a cross
       where they lived. Her father was taken  data base at the Yad Vashem World  descendants of Germans deprived of their  between Henry Kissinger and Minnie
       away by the Nazis a week             Holocaust Remembrance Center,       citizenship during the Third Reich to  Mouse”.
       after Kristallnacht, or the Night of  Westheimer’s mother is categorized by  reclaim their citizenship without losing  In 1984, Westheimer began hosting
       Broken Glass, in 1938. Westheimer cried  the word verschollen or ‘disappeared.’  the citizenship of their home country.  several television programs on
       while her father was taken away by     Westheimer decided to emigrate to   Early career                        the Lifetime TV network and one in
       men in gloss-finished boots, while her  British-controlled Mandatory Palestine.  After receiving her Ed.D., she briefly  syndication. Her first show was Good Sex!
       grandmother gave the men money and   There, at 17, she “first had sexual  worked for Planned Parenthood and this  With Dr. Ruth Westheimer, airing for a half
       asked them to care for him.          intercourse on a starry night, in a  experience encouraged her to continue  hour at 10 pm on weeknights. This show
       Westheimer’s mother and grandmother  haystack, without contraception.” She  studying human sexuality. She went on to  was expanded in 1985 to a full hour and its
       decided that Germany was too         later told The New York Times that “I am  work as a postdoctoral          name was changed to The Dr. Ruth Show. In
       dangerous due to the tension and Nazi  not happy about that, but I know much  researcher for Helen Singer Kaplan at New  1987 she began a separate half hour
                                                                                York-Presbyterian Hospital. She continued  syndicated series on many broadcast
                                                       Elder Abuse              to work there as an adjunct associate
                                                       HOTLINE                  professor for five years. She also taught  stations called Ask Dr. Ruth which was co-
                                                       1-800-677-1116           at Lehman College, Brooklyn           hosted by Larry Angelo. Dr. Ruth returned
                  Vol. 60, No. 9                                                College, Adelphi University, Columbia  to the Lifetime network in 1988 with The
              Amanda Blake Secola, Editor                                       University and West Point.            All New Dr. Ruth Show, which was followed
                    Editorial                 ELDER CARE LOCATOR                  Media career
               phone  562-691-2509                                                                  Continued on page 4
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            Tribute: In loving memory of     Page 17 -  Theater Options w/ Morna
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