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Ruth Gruber was one of five children born in Brooklyn, NY to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. She dreamed of becoming a writer from an early age. She graduated from New York University at the age of 15 and won a postgraduate fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, where she received her M.A. in German and English literature. In 1931, she won another fellowship at the University of Cologne, Germany. While there, she witnessed Hitler speaking at Nazi rallies. After becoming the world's youngest Ph.D. at age 20, she returned to the USA with a heightened awareness of the dangers of Nazi Germany. She began her career as a journalist in 1932 and became known for her adventurous spirit. In 1935, The New York Herald Tribune asked her to write a feature series about women under Fascism and Communism. She became the first foreign correspondent allowed to fly through Siberia into the Soviet Arctic. In 1944, as a special assistant to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, she helped Holocaust refugees seek asylum in the USA; and, as historian Barbara Seaman observed, "knew from then on, her life would be inextricably bound up with rescuing Jews in danger." Ruth Gruber covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and documented the British attack on the ship Exodus carrying Jewish refugees to Palestine in 1947. Her relationships with world leaders such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and David Ben Gurion gave her unique access and insight into the modern history of the Jewish people. In 1951, she married Philip H. Michaels, a lawyer and businessman, with whom she had two children. She continued working as a special foreign correspondent for the Herald Tribune and wrote a popular column for Hadassah Magazine, "Diary of an American Housewife." She served as volunteer for the Greater NY Women’s Division of United Jewish Appeal, where she wrote and directed the scripts for many performances. Following the death of her first husband, she married Henry Rosner, deputy commissioner of the NYC Department of Human Resources. He accompanied her to Israel, where she wrote Raquela: A Woman of Israel, which won the National Jewish Book Award. In 1995, she received Na’amat USA’s Golda Meir Human Rights Award for her life's work. In 1997, she won several prestigious awards from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, and in 1998 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from her peers in the American Society of Journalists and Authors as "a pioneering journalist and author whose books chronicle the most important events of the twentieth century." Her 1983 book Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees was made into a television miniseries by CBS in 2001. A documentary film entitled Ahead of Time, covering her life up to 1947, was made in 2009.
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