1993 Jury Member

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Location: Germany

Ruth Seering
Germany, 1923-1998

Ruth Seering is a journalist, radio and television reporter working primarily in the Arabian Peninsular, southern Africa and the islands of the Arctic. She also reports her adventures in supersonic flight. She has written seven books that were, in part, broadcast as radio plays.


Seering was born in Germany and studied history, the history of art and archaeology in Innsbruck, Berlin and Prague. She began her career as a freelance reporter and author in 1948 with the first western reports on uranium mining by the Soviet Union in the German Democratic Republic. Her articles and interviews on aviation and on scientific and geological subjects have been widely published in newspapers in both Germany and many other countries.


Between 1950 and 1957, she travelled twice overland from Germany to India and back, filing reports and photographs for European newspapers. She has studied the history of several countries in Europe and has made expeditions to Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard. She is also well known as a radio and television broadcaster.


Ruth Seering's aviation career started in 1960 when, flying in a U.S. Air Force F-100, she became the first German woman to break the sound barrier and, in 1968, she was the first woman to fly supersonic as a co-pilot in a U.S. Air Force Phantom, a Royal Air Force Lightning and a vertical-take-off Harrier. ln 1969, she accepted an invitation to become the first — and to date the only — woman to take Britain’s Royal Air Force survival-training course; in the Malayan jungle, above the snow line in the Alps, in the sands of the Arabian desert and out in the Atlantic Ocean, she learned what it was like to struggle for survival.


She flew as co-pilot of Royal Air Force Mach 2 and low-level flying sorties and was granted honorary membership of the Mach Busters' Club. She was also made a member of the Royal Air Force 1000 Miles Per Hour Club. She holds the silver medal for Arts, Sciences et Lettres awarded by the Académie Française and has received the Cross of Commander of the Belgo-Hispanic Order of Merit.


She has interviewed many famous people including Marshall Tito, President Nehru, King Faisal of Iraq, the Shah of Iran, Queen Frederika of Greece, King Hussein of Jordan, President Shishakli of Syria, Sultan Sa'id Ibn Ben Taimur of Oman, President Cemal Gürsel of Turkey, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, President Nicolaas Diederichs and Prime Minister B. J. Vorster of the Republic of South Africa. ln 1957, Ruth Seering was the first European woman journalist to visit Saudi Arabia. She stayed for part of her visit in King Ibn Saud's harem and was King Faisal's guest.


She has published several books in German, most recently Inseln in Mittelmeer-Kreta-Malta-Zyprn in 1991.

Other 1993 Jury Members