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County Executive Marc Elrich on the Passing of Ruby Rubens

For Immediate Release: Thursday 27 February

I am saddened at the passing of Ruby Rubens. Ruby devoted her life and career to helping others and confronting injustice. Recruited to be one of the first African American administrators at the Social Security Administration’s headquarters in Baltimore, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work at the Civil Service Administration, now known as the Office of Personnel Management. When, in 1967, she and her husband were attempting to buy a home in Montgomery County, she experienced such difficulty and discrimination, she took up fair housing as a personal cause. Ruby obtained a real estate license and worked to confront discriminating real estate and lending practices.

Ruby was appointed as the first fair housing manager for the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Development; served as Chair of the housing committee for the County’s chapter of the NAACP; was appointed by then-County Executive Neal Potter as his special assistant on education, housing, and minority and multicultural affairs; was a consultant to the Housing and Opportunities Commission; was a Management Analyst for the US Office of Personnel Management; and retired in 2000 as the Ombudsman for the Montgomery County Board of Education.

She was recognized throughout her life with many awards and honors including the African American Living Legend Award; The Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award; the Delta Sigma Theta National Legacy Award to Women Making a Difference; and she was inducted into Montgomery County’s Human Rights Hall of Fame.

Ruby was a most gracious, but firm, advocate and devoted her entire life to fair and affordable housing, and the importance of inclusive and quality education for all. She was a true champion of human rights and equality.
She will be missed.

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Release ID: 20-005