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Jill Shaw Ruddock
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Raised in Baltimore, Maryland and educated in its inner-city state schools, Jill Shaw Ruddock went on to get her degree in Politics from Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine. She began a career in advertising in New York City, and then moved to publishing, working for Inc. magazine and The Atlantic Monthly. In 1983, Jill moved to London to co-head the consulting firm of The Government Research Corporation. A couple years later, she joined the US investment bank Alex Brown & Sons; she became the Managing Director and Head of their London office in 1994. In 1999, she retired from finance and became involved in the theatre world, fundraising and sitting on the main boards of The Donmar Warehouse and The Mousetrap Theatre Projects. In addition to her theater involvement, she is a board member of Bowdoin College Museum of Art. She was a trustee of Bowdoin College for ten years.

In 2008, Jill began the two-year process of researching and writing her inspirational book The Second Half of Your Life, published in the UK by Random House in 2011. The book is written especially for women over 50, using the changes around menopause as the trigger to get to the best years of your life. Although based on the science of hormones, it is inspirational and provides prescriptive advice to encourage today’s ageing population that they have the power to create the life they want to live. In other words, Jill believes that we can make the second half of our lives into the best half. The book has been heralded as “one of the most important women’s books for a decade”, “groundbreaking”, “inspirational” and “the manual for women in the second half of their life.”

In 2011, Jill set out to expand upon the ideas in her book and to make her words literally come to life. In May, The Second Half of Your Life Foundation was approved by the UK Charities Commission with the purpose of creating The Second Half Centre in the NHS Hospital of St Charles for the people of North Kensington, with eventually more centers throughout the UK. Using the five components of successful ageing, as detailed in Jill’s book, the Foundation will tackle isolation and loneliness for any person over the age of 50. Providing activities, teaching new skills and hobbies, and following the “Five a Day” (which has even now been adopted by the NHS), those in the second half of their lives are encouraged to discover why this is their best half. The Second Half Centre is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2012.

The Second Half of Your Life Foundation was selected by the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea as her charity for 2011/2012. Jill Shaw Ruddock is the winner of the 2011 Veuve Clicquot “Woman of the Year Tribute”. She is the winner of the Jewish Care Woman of Distinction Award which will be awarded on May 23rd 2012. Jill will be receiving The Common Good Award from Bowdoin College in June 2012.

Jill lives in London and is married to Sir Paul Ruddock. They have two children, Sophie and Isabella.

Blog Entries by Jill Shaw Ruddock

Why the Verdict of the Oscar Pistorius Trial Will Reveal More About Us Than Him

(16) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 7:18 PM

Now that Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail, and we are no longer mesmerized with the latest minute-by-minute news of the bail decision, perhaps it is time to reflect on our own reactions to this tragic story. How many of us, on hearing the news of the famous South African...

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Is Gluten the Culprit in Our Fight Against Obesity?

(8) Comments | Posted September 15, 2012 | 9:19 AM

With the summer of 2012 coming to a close, British athletes have put the 'great' back in Great Britain. So, there is no time like the present for the Department of Health and the Royal Medical Colleges to renew their campaign to try and make real progress in addressing the...

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Why Abortion Is Taking a Front Seat in American Politics

(407) Comments | Posted August 26, 2012 | 3:16 PM

With the economy in free fall, moderate Republicans and disgruntled Obama supporters have been toying with the idea that Republican candidate Mitt Romney could be a viable alternative this November. Romney was actually starting to look like a "moderate Republican" on key social issues while having the business experience to...

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Should We Blame our Leaders or the System?

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2012 | 7:58 AM

A latest poll just published revealed that the Conservatives have suffered a double digit loss of public support since the March budget announcement. Labour is now seen as the most competent of the three main parties for the first time since the coalition began.

How has it gone wrong so...

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To Snip or Not to Snip Is Not the Question

(46) Comments | Posted July 9, 2012 | 5:06 AM

Last week the German court in Cologne ruled that circumcision by parents of sons is an unlawful act. This ruling will be enforced even if performed by a qualified doctor, making them liable to prosecution.

Is this a landmark ruling to remove religious liberty or an insidious return of anti-semiticism...

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Assisted Death or Assisted Living

(56) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 8:00 PM

This week in the UK there is a renewed push by MPs to review the current guidelines regarding assisted suicide on compassionate grounds. Lord Falconer, who heads up The Commission on Assisted Dying reported that the current legal status is inadequate and incoherent. Understandably there are concerns that the elderly...

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The Solution Can Not Be More Debt

(6) Comments | Posted May 28, 2012 | 8:00 PM

I remember when I was a young girl, my mother would always balance the family chequebook at the end of every month. She would stress that this was the secret to good financial planning and would warn me, "It doesn't matter how much money you earn, you will never have...

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Who Will Suffer This Time?

(4) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 11:26 AM

Earlier this week I went to see the play Travelling Light at The National Theatre. It is a beautiful play about the birth of motion pictures, documenting local life in a Russian village (a shtetl) at the beginning of the last century . Although the play is a kind of...

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