Dr. Ruth on Sex, Humor and Happiness

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Sex therapist Ruth Westheimer has written a number of books about human sexuality. Katja Lenz/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Katja Lenz/AFP/Getty Images

More from the Interview

Dr. Ruth talks about America as a "Shirley Temple dream."

Ruth Westheimer was over 50 when she began her career advising in a very public way — on the most private of matters. She had a 15-minute show that aired after midnight on a New York City radio station.

In the 1980s, Dr. Ruth became a celebrity with wacky charm that belied a tragic past.

In her autobiography, All in a Lifetime, she tells of being a much doted upon child in Frankfurt, Germany. She remembers the day she saw her mother and grandmother for the last time. She was boarding a special train for Jewish children escaping the Nazis. All of her family would eventually perish in the Holocaust.

She went on to earn a doctorate of education focusing on the family. For Dr. Ruth, the key to a happy life is healthy sex.

"I certainly believe in the need for sexuality education, I do believe that it has to be taught based on scientifically validated data, and it has to be taught with some kind of humor," she tells Renee Montagne.

These days, Dr. Ruth, 78, is off the air, but she's keeping busy lecturing at Princeton and Yale.

Books Featured In This Story

All in a Lifetime

An Autobiography

by Ruth K. Westheimer and Ben Yagoda

Paperback, 339 pages | purchase

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All in a Lifetime
An Autobiography
Ruth K. Westheimer and Ben Yagoda

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