Ruth Marcus was born in Philadelphia and grew up in a Jewish family in Livingston, New Jersey. Both her parents were pharmacists. She attended school in Livingston with and has remained a close friend of fellow columnist Mona Charen. She studied at Yale University where she wrote for the college newspaper.
After completing her Yale degree, the Jewess Marcus wrote for the National Law Journal, before attending Harvard Law School, from which she received her J.D. in 1984. Marcus began writing for The Washington Post while still in law school, and formally joined the paper after graduation.
From her Washington Post biography:
“Marcus has been with The Post since 1984, beginning as a reporter on the Maryland staff, covering local development and other issues, and then transferring to the District staff to cover lawyers and legal issues. She joined the national staff in 1986, covering campaign finance, the Justice Department, the Supreme Court and the White House. From 1999 through 2002, she served as deputy national editor, supervising reporters who covered money and politics, Congress, the Supreme Court, and other national issues. She joined the editorial board in 2003. She identifies as a liberal with the Democratic party.Marcus is married to former Federal Trade Commission Chairman and Democrat Jon Leibowitz. The couple have two daughters, Emma and Julia.