Ruth Orkin

Ruth Orkin ( born September 3, 1921 in Boston, † 16 January 1985 in New York City ) was an American photographer and filmmaker.

The daughter of silent film actress Mary Ruby grew up in Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1939, she studied photojournalism at Los Angeles City College; In the same year she took a bike ride across the U.S. to New York to visit the World Expo.

After serving a short time in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, she returned in 1943 to New York. There she earned her living with baby photographs and as a photographer in a nightclub before when she worked freelance photographer for magazines such as Life, Look, and Ladies' Home Journal. The musical summer courses at Tanglewood she photographed celebrities such as Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Aaron Copland, Jascha Heifetz and Serge Koussevitzky. In 1947 she joined the Photo League at and participated in the exhibition This Is the Photo League ( 1948-49 ).

On behalf of the Life magazine Orkin went to concerts by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in Israel. From there she went to Italy, where her famous photo American Girl in Italy originated as part of the series Do not Be Afraid to Travel Alone. In 1952 she returned to New York and turned together with Raymond Abrashkin and Morris Engel the movie The Little Runaway ( Little Fugitiv ). In the same year she married Angels, with whom she still shooting movies. For the film, she received an Oscar nomination in 1954 for Best Original Story.

From 1976 to 1978 she taught photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1979 at the International Center of Photography. From her apartment on New York's Central Park Orkin photographed parades, demonstrations, marathons and concerts. These photos it published in the volumes A World Through My Window and More Pictures From My Window.


  • The Jewish Museum - Ruth Orkin
  • Ruth Orkin Photo Archive - Biography
  • Ruth Orkin at the Internet Movie Database (English)
  • Woman
  • Born 1921
  • Died in 1985
  • Photographer
  • Film Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Americans