Sara Anderson Immerwahr was born in Royersford, Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1935 and her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College in 1943 with a dissertation entitled, "The Mycenaean Pictorial Style of Vase Painting in the Thirteenth Century B.C." In 1936, she made her first visit to Greece and Turkey, and had her first archaeological field experience working for Hetty Goldman at the joint Bryn Mawr-Harvard excavation at Tarsus. She received an Ella Riegel Fellowship from Bryn Mawr to attend the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in 1938/1939. In 1942, she took a teaching position in art history at Wellesley College, replacing a professor who had gone off to World War II. In 1946, she returned to back Bryn Mawr, assuming the place of her mentor, Prof. Mary Hamilton Swindler, for a year. In 1944, she married Henry Rudolph Immerwahr, a fellow classics scholar, and moved with him to New Haven, Connecticut as he began his own teaching career at Yale. Over the next 10 years, she wrote book reviews for the American Journal of Archaeology and an annual article on archaeology for the Funk & Wagnall's New Encyclopedia Yearbook. She also continued her own research. After her husband went to teach at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Sara received a fellowship from the American Association of University Women that enabled her to begin work on her study of the Neolithic and Bronze Age material unearthed during the American School’s excavations in the Athenian Agora. The results were published in 1971 as Volume XIII of The Athenian Agora series, The Neolithic and Bronze Ages. In 1964, she returned to teaching, first in the Department of Classics at UNC and later as an associate professor in the Department of Art. Eventually, she returned to the American School at Athens as Senior Research Fellow from 1977 to 1982.