Name at birth: Karola Ruth Siegel
Dr. Ruth Westheimer was born in Germany, spent World War II in Switzerland (separated from her parents, who were killed in the Holocaust) and at the age of 16 emigrated to Israel. In the 1950s she lived and studied in Paris, and in 1956 she moved to New York City, where she eventually got her PhD in Education. A strong advocate of sex education, she started a radio show titled Sexually Speaking in 1980. Her bubbly personality, thick German accent and surprisingly frank advice about sex made her a major celebrity for the next decade. Her star cooled a bit in the 1990s as frank sex talk became more common, but she remains a reliable go-to media expert for things sexual, dispensing advice on TV, radio and in newspaper columns, as well as keeping up her private practice. She is the author of over two dozen books, including Dr. Ruth's Guide to Good Sex (1983), Dr. Ruth's Guide to Erotic and Sensuous Pleasures (1991), Sex for Dummies (1995), and the 1988 autobiography All in a Lifetime.
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