Ruth Anne Robb was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 20, 1901. Her parents were John James Thompson, a successful agricultural commodities trader, and Rebecca Anne Thompson. Ruth later attended the University of Chicago, studying
both education and divinity, with the hope of becoming a teacher. In 1925, Ruth married John D. Robb (1887-1933) of St. Louis, Missouri. John Robb founded the Mississippi-Gulf Steam Navigation Company, owned a shipyard, a shipping
agency, and owned a number of ocean vessels transporting goods to both Latin America and Asia. Tragically, he died in 1938, leaving her with three daughters (Gayle, Rebecca and Edie). Hearing God's calling, Ruth dedicated the remainder
of her life to philanthropic work.
Philanthropical Work in Asia
After her husband's death, Ruth became interested in supporting Christian missionary work in China and elsewhere in Asia. Although contributing significant funds herself, she worked to raise funds for Christian missions and the establishment of schools in China’s Hebei, Shaanxi, Shaanxi, and Henan Provinces. After China’s Warlord Period forced the closure of several schools, Ruth began to also focus her attention towards India. Ruth’s efforts to establish schools and hospitals in India’s rural areas achieved far more success. Ruth went on to establish schools and hospitals in Burma, Thailand, and what was then British Malaya. During this period, Ruth travelled extensively throughout Asia gaining an appreciation for its people, as well as its natural beauty. A life-long traveler, photographer, writer, educator, naturalist, and philanthropist, Ruth passed away in Honolulu in 1992.
The Ruth Robb Foundation
Established in 1970, The Ruth Robb Foundation continues to carry out her life’s work. The promotion of education, healthcare, and environmental protection, throughout South and South-East Asia.
Since 1970, The Ruth Robb Foundation has invested more than $2.5 billion in projects across Asia, with a current annual funding of approximately $ 90 million in 36 countries.