Ruth Padawer is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, focusing on gender and other social issues, as well as medical science and the law. Her work has been published on four continents and translated into more than a dozen languages for international magazines and newspapers. Her articles have also been reprinted in college textbooks -- and the 2017 anthology of “Best American Sports Writing,” which is particularly amusing to her family and friends, given how little she follows sports. She’s also dabbled in radio, including freelancing for This American Life.
Before writing for the Times Magazine, Padawer was a senior writer at The Record newspaper in New Jersey, where she wrote about gender, health, education and local politics. In 1995, she pioneered the gender and sexuality beat, one of the first in the nation.
By then, she’d already begun teaching at Columbia University’s journalism school – which she’d attended years earlier, graduating with honors. She also won the school’s National Issues award for her master’s thesis and the award for Outstanding Magazine Writing.
For her bachelor's, she attended Tufts University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in history and a “certificate” in women’s studies, because way back then, the university did not offer it as a major.