Elizabeth Young-Bruehl was born in Elkton, Maryland. She grew up in Maryland and Delaware. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and then completed her bachelor's degree at The New School for Social Research in New York City. There she met and married Robert Bruehl; the couple later divorced. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees at The New School, where Hannah Arendt became her mentor and dissertation advisor. Her award-winning biography, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, published in 1982, became the standard work on the subject's life. Dr. Young-Bruehl taught for many years at Wesleyan University and Haverford College. She began clinical psychoanalytic training in 1983 and eventually graduated from the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis in 1999. She opened a private practice as a therapist, first in Philadelphia and then in New York City. Her other published works included Anna Freud: A Biography (1988), Freedom and Karl Jasper's Philosophy (1981), The Anatomy of Prejudices (1996), Where Do We Fall When We Fall in Love? (2003), and Childism: Understanding and Preventing Prejudice Against Children, published posthumously in 2012. She died of a pulmonary embolism in 2011 at age 65.