Emmy Werner was born in the town of Eltville, Germany, on the Rhine, and survived the Allied bombing of the region in World War II. She made up several years of interrupted education in about 18 months at the end of the war. She graduated from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz in 1950, then emigrated to the USA. She earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Nebraska, and went to the University of California at Berkeley on a postdoctoral fellowship. She taught and worked at the University of Minnesota and the National Institutes of Health before joining the University of California, Davis in 1962. Dr. Werner's particular research interest is the resilience of children. She and her colleagues have identified a number of protective factors in the lives of the most resilient children that helped to balance out risk factors at critical periods and enabled them to develop into caring and competent adults. Among her acclaimed books is Vulnerable but Invincible: A Longitudinal Study of Resilient Children and Youth (1982), written with Ruth S. Smith.