Ruwe was born in Ohio, and graduated from Roger Bacon High School, St. Bernard, Ohio, in 1959. He earned his BA at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1963, and was a Special Agent for the Intelligence Division of the Internal Revenue Service from 1963-70. In 1970, he received his J.D. from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1970, graduating first in class. He then joined the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service in 1970, and held the following positions with the IRS: Trial Attorney (Indianapolis), Director, Criminal Tax Division, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (Litigation), and Director, Tax Litigation Division. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as Judge, United States Tax Court, on November 20, 1987, for a term ending November 19, 2002. Ruwe retired on November 20, 2002, but continues to perform judicial duties as Senior Judge on recall.