Painter Ruth Light Braun was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, USA in 1906. After graduating from high school with honours in art, she enrolled at the Cooper Union Art College for Women in New York, where she took classes in painting and costume design. She worked as a freelance illustrator and her work was published in several books and magazines including the New Yorker. She also studied with the German-born painter Winold Reiss, who had established his own school of art in New York in 1916, inspired by his portraits of American ethnic communities, which she afterwards made the major focus of her own work. She frequently drew her subjects against backdrops that reflected their daily lives including subway stations, department stores and the Lower East Side neighbourhoods that were home to many Jewish immigrants. She became a member of Hadassah, the National Women's Zionist Organization of America and between 1931 and 1933 worked in Palestine, depicting members of the local Jewish population. After the death of her first husband, she returned to the United States and remarried, helping her new husband establish Braun's Fine Caterers in Washington D.C., which became the official catering company of the U.S. State Department. Upon her retirement in 1976, she moved to Miami Beach, Florida and resumed painting. Ruth Light Braun died in Florida in 2003.