Ruth Gaddy was born in 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Second Ward High School in 1935. She then traveled to New York City, where she worked as an elevator operator. She was later employed by the National Youth Administration.
Gaddy enlisted in the WAAC at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on 10 October 1942. She was sent to Fort Des Moines, Iowa, for basic training, and in early 1943 Gaddy was transferred to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where she worked as a clerk typist and sang with a USO troupe. She was sent to Fort Lewis, Washington, in 1944, then to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, in January 1945 for overseas training. Gaddy departed from Camp Shanks, New York, aboard the Ile de France and landed in Scotland. In February 1945, Gaddy was stationed in Birmingham, England, where she worked as a mail clerk. She was then transferred to Rouen, France, in May 1945, and then to Paris. Gaddy was discharged from the WAC in April 1946.
Following WWII, Gaddy worked as the woman’s editor for
The Charlotte Eagle. In 1948 she then enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University, where she studied sociology and history while working as a feature writer at The Charlotte Observer. Gaddy later received her masters degree in education and sociology from New York University. She worked for the New York Department of Recreation and then as a parole officer for New York state. In 1960, she returned to Charlotte, North Carolina, and taught psychology at Mecklenburg College.