“Robert did not get close to many people… Ruth had a wonderful sense of what life was like …and had the ability to think inside your head.” Jerome Bruner, psychologist and colleague
To Robert, she was “the charming Mrs. Tolman” from the moment they met; he was 24, she was 34 and her husband Richard, another of the country’s most important physicists, was 46. In some ways, they were parallel versions of the same man.
Ruth was vibrant and sociable, exuded warmth and seemed younger than her years. Robert loved both Tolmans, shared physics with Richard and psychology with Ruth. Ruth and Robert delighted in each other, cared for one another at different levels of intimacy over a period of many years. And they schemed to find time alone.
According to Robert’s German Aunt Hedwig, Ruth was Robert’s “best true friend.”
Ruth Sherman Tolman and her husband, Richard: