Ahead of Time: The Life & Times of Ruth Gruber

Ahead of Time, a new doc­u­men­tary, tells the remark­able true sto­ry of Ruth Gru­ber. Born in Brook­lyn in 1911, Gru­ber became the youngest per­son in the world (let alone woman) to earn a Ph.D degree; she did so at the age of 20 from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cologne, where she majored in Ger­man Phi­los­o­phy, Mod­ern Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture, and Art His­to­ry.

While in Ger­many, Gru­ber wit­nessed Nazi ral­lies and lat­er returned to Amer­i­ca with an acute aware­ness of the dan­gers posed by Nazism. Begin­ning her career in jour­nal­ism, she returned to Ger­many on a secret mis­sion for the FDR admin­is­tra­tion and pho­tographed Holo­caust refugees. (You can see the pho­tos Gru­ber cap­tured in this post, and absolute­ly don’t miss the video inter­view with the 99-year-old Ruth at the bot­tom of that page). After the war, Gru­ber con­tin­ued work­ing as a for­eign cor­re­spon­dent and pho­to­jour­nal­ist – a career that has spanned sev­en decades.

The short clip above offers a pre­view of Ahead of Time, which airs on Show­time tonight (Mon­day, March 7) at 5:30PM ET/PT, tomor­row (Tues­day, March 8) at 8PM ET/PT, and Fri­day, March 11 at 4PM ET/PT. For a com­plete list of Ahead of Time show­ings, see here. Ahead of Time promis­es to explain the long and incred­i­bly inspir­ing career of Ruth Gru­ber as a jour­nal­ist, lec­tur­er, author, pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and human­i­tar­i­an. Don’t miss it!

Eugene Buchko is a blog­ger and pho­tog­ra­ph­er liv­ing in Atlanta, GA. He main­tains a pho­to­blog, Eru­dite Expres­sions, and writes about what he reads on his read­ing blog.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.