Elisabeth Young-Bruehl was born in Elkton, Maryland on March 3, 1946. She received bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the New School for Social Research in New York. She later trained as a psychoanalyst. She taught for many years at Wesleyan University and Haverford College. She wrote numerous books including Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, Anna Freud: A Biography, Mind and the Body Politic, Why Arendt Matters, The Anatomy of Prejudices, and Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children. She died of pulmonary embolism on December 1, 2011 at the age of 65.