Ruth Handler Siblings: Exploring The Family Roots Beyond Barbie

Ruth Handlers Siblings: The Family Behind the Barbie Creator.!!!

An image illustration of Ruth Handler
Discover the untold stories and relationships of Ruth Handler’s siblings. Unearth.

Ruth Handler was a remarkable woman who revolutionized the toy industry with her creation of Barbie, the world’s most famous doll.

But she was not the only one in her family who had a passion for creativity and innovation.

Ruth had nine siblings, who also had interesting and inspiring lives.

In this blog post, we will explore the names, backgrounds, and achievements of Ruth Handler’s siblings, and learn more about their early life, family dynamics, personal lives, and philanthropic ventures.

Siblings’ Names and Background

Born on November 4, 1916, in Denver, Colorado, to Jacob and Ida Mosko, who had fled Poland to escape the Russian army, Ruth was the youngest of ten siblings.

Let’s get to know them:

  • Sarah Mosko Greenwald (1898-1987): The eldest sister, a pharmacist, and devoted philanthropist.
  • Aaron Mosko (1900-1979): The eldest brother, a lawyer, judge, and influential leader in the Jewish community.
  • Lillian Mosko Bernstein (1902-1993): The second sister, a passionate teacher, librarian, and collector of books and art.
  • Joe Mosko (1904-1989): The second brother, a dynamic businessman, politician, and champion of civil rights.
  • Mildred Mosko Cohen (1906-1998): The third sister, a dedicated social worker, community activist, and advocate for numerous causes.
  • Sam Mosko (1908-1988): The third brother, a dentist, musician, and classical music enthusiast.
  • Esther Mosko Handler (1910-2002): The fourth sister, a successful fashion designer, businesswoman, and mentor to Ruth.
  • Jack Mosko (1912-1994): The fourth brother, an engineer, inventor, and pioneer in electronics.
  • David Mosko (1914-2001): The fifth brother, a doctor, researcher, and influential leader in the field of medicine.

Early Life and Family Dynamics

Growing up in a modest yet loving home in Denver, the Handler siblings imbibed the values of education, honesty, and generosity from their hardworking and devout parents, Jacob and Ida Mosko.

Encouraged to pursue their dreams and talents, the siblings formed a close bond, engaging in shared activities like reading, music, puzzles, and crafts.

They celebrated their Jewish heritage, actively participating in their local synagogue and community.

Despite facing challenges such as poverty, discrimination, and illness, the siblings supported each other with resilience and optimism.

They navigated the hardships of World War I, the Great Depression, and the Holocaust, emerging stronger and never giving up on their goals and aspirations.

Stay tuned for more insights into their extraordinary journey and the lasting impact they’ve left behind.

Personal Lives

Ruth Handler and her siblings led fulfilling personal lives, complementing their successful professional endeavors.

Marriage, children, and for some, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, marked their personal journeys.

The strong, affectionate bonds they maintained within their families were evident as they frequently visited and celebrated life’s moments together.

Surrounded by friends and colleagues who admired and respected them, they found joy in both their achievements and contributions.

Noteworthy aspects of their personal lives include:

  • Ruth Handler:

Married her high school sweetheart, Elliot Handler, in 1938.

Co-founding Mattel in 1945, they had two children, Barbara and Kenneth, inspiring the iconic Barbie and Ken dolls.

Their enduring marriage lasted 63 years until Elliot’s passing in 2002. Ruth herself passed away later that year at the age of 85.

  • Sarah Mosko Greenwald:

Married pharmacist Harry Greenwald in 1920, running a drugstore together in Denver.

They had three children and enjoyed a 67-year marriage until Harry’s death in 1987. Sarah passed away later that year at 89.

  • Aaron Mosko:

Married teacher Dorothy Cohen in 1929, practicing law and engaging in politics in Denver.

Their 50-year marriage endured until Dorothy’s death in 1979. Aaron passed away later that year at 79.

  • Lillian Mosko Bernstein:

Married lawyer Samuel Bernstein in 1930, working as a teacher and librarian.

They had two children and enjoyed a 63-year marriage until Samuel’s death in 1993. Lillian passed away later that year at 91.

  • Joe Mosko:

Married social worker Rose Goldberg in 1934, engaging in politics and owning businesses in Denver.

Their 55-year marriage endured until Rose’s death in 1989. Joe passed away later that year at 85.

  • Mildred Mosko Cohen:

Married lawyer Irving Cohen in 1936, working as a social worker and community activist.

They had two children and enjoyed a 62-year marriage until Irving’s death in 1998. Mildred passed away later that year at 92.

  • Sam Mosko:

Married nurse Sylvia Rosen in 1941, practicing dentistry and pursuing music in Denver and Los Angeles.

They had two children and were married for 47 years until Sylvia’s death in 1988. Sam passed away later that year at 80.

  • Esther Mosko Handler:

Married businessman Sidney Handler in 1942, founding a clothing company in Los Angeles.

They had two children and enjoyed a 60-year marriage until Sidney’s death in 2002.

Philanthropic Ventures and Social Causes of the Siblings

Beyond their professional success, Ruth Handler and her siblings demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy and social causes.

Their contributions to society included:

  • Ruth Handler: A pioneer in breast cancer awareness, she founded Nearly Me, providing realistic breast prostheses.

Her book, “Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story,” shared her journey and inspired women to be resilient.

  • Aaron Mosko: Served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and contributed to various charitable and educational organizations.
  • Joe Mosko: A generous supporter of the arts, culture, and educational institutions, establishing libraries and galleries.
  • Lillian Mosko: A benefactor of education and health sectors, endowing chairs in Judaic studies and supporting hospitals and research institutes.
  • Mildred Mosko: An advocate for civil rights and women’s rights, actively participating in movements and receiving the Woman of Valor Award in 1993.

What was the profession of Ruth Handler’s brother involved in cinematography?

Ruth Handler’s brother Jack worked as a cinematographer, contributing to several documentaries and TV shows.

Jack was also the father of renowned actress and comedian Chelsea Handler, who is Ruth’s niece.

What was the cause of Ruth Handler’s son Kenneth’s death?

Ruth Handler’s son Kenneth passed away from a brain tumor in 1994 at the age of 50.

Diagnosed in 1991, Kenneth underwent multiple surgeries and treatments.

He is survived by his wife Rita and their two children, Todd and Cheryl.

Other Fascinating Aspects of Ruth Handler’s Siblings

Beyond their involvement in philanthropy and social causes, Ruth Handler’s siblings had diverse interests and hobbies.

Let’s explore more about Ruth Handler’s siblings:

  • Travel and Adventure:

Ruth Handler and her siblings had a passion for exploration, traversing countries and regions worldwide, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Engaging in thrilling activities like skiing, hiking, sailing, and camping, they enthusiastically shared their travel tales with family and friends, creating lasting memories.

  • Music and Art:

Ruth Handler and her brothers and sisters liked music and art very much, and liked different kinds and ways of making them.

They liked music like jazz, classical, folk, and pop, and liked singers like Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles.

The siblings did not just listen to music, but also made their own art, like painting, drawing, making things with clay, and taking pictures.

They also liked to go to and help with shows, displays, and parties that had music and art.

  • Fashion and Style:

Ruth Handler and her brothers and sisters liked to dress well and look good.

They wore nice clothes and things like hats and belts. Additionally, they liked bright colors like red, yellow, and blue.

They were good at making new fashions and following them.

Notably, they wore things like short skirts, suits with pants, and clothes with flowers.

They also showed off their clothes and said good things about famous makers and designers, like Chanel, Dior, and Levi’s.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Ruth Handler’s Siblings

Q: Which sister raised Ruth Handler?

A: Ruth Handler was raised by her eldest sister Sarah, who, being 19 years her senior, took care of Ruth after their mother fell ill when Ruth was just six months old.

Ruth lived with Sarah until the age of 19, considering her a second mother.


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