The Kinsey Institute staff and faculty are saddened by the passing last month of Ruth Ann Beasley in Bloomington, Indiana. Ruth was born on October 25, 1942 and died peacefully in her home, October 2, 2023. Ruth was a beloved friend, mentor, and colleague of our staff and faculty and made extraordinary contributions to the Kinsey Institute over several decades.
A graduate of Indiana University in Library Sciences, Ruth first served as the Institute’s Information Services Coordinator (1971-1975) and then Training Seminar Coordinator (1975-1978) under Executive Director Dr. Paul Gebhard. In 1982, she became the Institute’s Assistant Director, working with Director Dr. June Reinisch to shape the Institute’s mission and vision. She contributed to Dr. Reinisch’s outreach efforts with the publication of the internationally syndicated newspaper column, The Kinsey Report and co-wrote The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex (1991), a bestseller designed as an encyclopedia of answers to common sex questions based on the latest sex research.
Ruth’s connection with the Kinsey Institute remained strong even beyond her years as the Assistant Director. She served as an Archival Consultant from 1996-1998 during Dr. John Bancroft’s directorship and as a Collections volunteer in the early 2000s, lending her expertise to preserve and manage our invaluable collections. Her meticulous work and profound respect for the history of human sexuality enriched the Institute’s archives in countless ways.
While we mourn Ruth’s passing, we are also grateful for the time we had with such an extraordinary individual, whose legacy will continue to shine through the work of the Kinsey Institute.