May 18, 1941
Queens, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University
|Spouse(s)||Bernard Madoff (m. 1959)|
|Children||Mark Madoff (1964–2010)
Andrew Madoff (1966–2014)
Madoff was born in Queens, New York, and raised in Laurelton, to a practicing Jewish family. She has one sister, Joan (Alpern) Roman. She is a graduate of Far Rockaway High School and a 1961 graduate of Queens College. In 1992, Madoff graduated from New York University with a Master of Science degree in nutrition.
Bernard and Ruth Madoff had two sons: Mark (March 11, 1964 – December 11, 2010), a 1986 graduate of the University of Michigan; and Andrew (April 8, 1966 – September 3, 2014), a 1988 graduate of University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Both of her sons have predeceased her: Mark, by suicide, in 2010, and Andrew, from lymphoma, in 2014.
On the morning of December 11, 2010 — exactly two years after his father's arrest — Mark was found dead in his New York City apartment. The city medical examiner ruled the cause of death as suicide by hanging.
According to a March 13, 2009, filing by Madoff, he and his wife were worth up to $138 million, plus an estimated $700 million for the value of his business interest in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Other major assets included securities ($45 million); cash ($17 million); half-interest in BLM Air Charter ($12 million); a 2006 Leopard yacht ($7 million); jewelry ($2.6 million); a Manhattan apartment ($7 million); a Montauk home ($3 million); a Palm Beach home ($11 million); a Cap d'Antibes, France, property ($1 million); and furniture, household goods and art ($9.9 million).
A Vanity Fair article in 2009 stated that, during the time when she was a bookkeeper, Ruth made an undisclosed US$2.5 million deal and that employees in the London office stated "Ruthie runs all the books". During a 2011 interview on CBS, Ruth stated that she and her husband had attempted suicide after his fraud was exposed, both taking "a bunch of pills" in a suicide pact on Christmas Eve 2008.
Since her husband’s incarceration, most of the Madoff family assets have been seized by the government, including the couple's Upper East Side penthouse in New York. She moved to one of her son Andrew's houses in Connecticut after spending two years living in Boca Raton, Florida, with her sister.
In the media
- Cate Blanchett used Ruth Madoff as inspiration for her Oscar-winning performance in Blue Jasmine.
- Michelle Pfeiffer plays Ruth Madoff in the HBO film The Wizard of Lies which is based on Diana B. Henriques's best-selling book. Robert De Niro stars as Bernie. 
- Blythe Danner portrayed her in the 2016 ABC miniseries Madoff with Richard Dreyfuss as Bernie.
- "Madoff Enjoyed $50 Pedicures, 9.8 Handicap, Boat (Correct)". bloomberg.com.
- "The Trials of Ruth Madoff", people.com, February 21, 2011; retrieved April 14, 2011.
- Alison Leight Cowan (January 14, 2009). "A Madoff Cookbook Has a Secret, Too". The New York Times.
- David Segal; Alison Leigh Cowan (January 14, 2009). "Madoffs Shared Much; Question Is How Much". The New York Times.
- "Have pity on Ruth Madoff"". CNN. November 14, 2009. Retrieved April 16, 2011.
- Mark Seal. "Ruth's World". Vanity Fair.
- "A Charmed Life, a Tragic Death". People. January 10, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
Today would have been Mark's 47th birthday! I will never forget the kind and fun loving person he was. This will always be a difficult day of the year for me.
- "The Tale of the Madoff Sons". New York Magazine. June 3, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "EXCERPT: Mark Madoff in 'The Madoff Chronicles'". MSNBC. December 12, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "The Trials of Ruth Madoff". People. February 21, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "Officials: Bernie Madoff's Son Mark Madoff Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide In Soho Apartment". CBS.com. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
- Martha Graybow and Daniel Trotta (December 11, 2010). "Madoff's son found dead in apparent suicide". Financial Post. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
- "Madoff's son suicide follows battle with trustee - Business - US business - NBC News". msnbc.com.
- McCool, Grant (March 13, 2009). "Madoff to appeal bail, net worth revealed". Reuters. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
- Robin Finn (August 16, 2013). "A Former Madoff Penthouse Goes Back on the Market".
- "Fraudster Bernard Madoff and wife 'attempted suicide'". October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- Cate Blanchett on Studying Ruth Madoff accessed 8-31-2015
- "Robert De Niro To Play Madoff". Slashfilm.com. May 15, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- Messer, Lesley (26 June 2015). "See Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner as Bernie and Ruth Madoff". ABC News. Retrieved 31 January 2016.