Ruth Polsky (December 5, 1954 - September 7, 1986) was a booker and music promoter in New York City.
Polsky was raised in Toms River, New Jersey and graduated from Clark University, where she worked on the students newspaper.
During the period 1979 until her death, Polsky was talent buyer[clarification needed] at Hurrah and then Danceteria in New York, also promoting shows at The Ritz and booking bands out across the U.S. In this role, she was crucial in breaking many, particularly UK-based, post-punk acts in the U.S., including tours for The Smiths, New Order, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Only Ones, The Sisters of Mercy, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, and The Chameleons. She worked closely with Shirley O'Loughlin at Rough Trade to bring in The Raincoats, Delta 5, Young Marble Giants, Cabaret Voltaire, The Go-Betweens, The Slits and The Pop Group for their U.S. debuts. Ruth booked the Joy Division USA tour in May 1980, which was canceled after Ian Curtis' death. Other bands that got their first break in the U.S. via Polsky are The Cult, A Certain Ratio, Echo & the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, The Teardrop Explodes, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Gene Loves Jezebel, and the Jesus & Mary Chain.
She died after being crushed by a runaway cab on the steps of the Limelight club in New York.
"A driver for a car service has been charged with running a red light after his vehicle collided with a taxicab that spun out of control, struck and killed a woman in front of the Limelight discotheque in Chelsea, the police said yesterday. The victim, who was killed instantly Sunday night when the cab pinned her against the front of the building at 47 West 20th Street, was identified yesterday as Ruth Polsky of 90 West Houston Street, according to a police spokesman, Officer Joseph McConville"
Polsky's close relationship with Stiff Records led to a package show titled "Taking Liberties" at The Rainbow in Finsbury Park on February 21, 1981, featuring New York bands The dB's, The Fleshtones, Raybeats, Bush Tetras, The Bongos, and Polyrock. Live tracks recorded at the show of all except Polyrock were released on a Stiff compilation titled Start Swimming.
On December 5, 1986, New Order played a benefit for Ruth at the Roxy in New York, performing an encore with Joy Division tunes "Atmosphere" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart". The first time the band had played these songs live since Joy Division.
A brief obituary on The ARChive of Contemporary Music website read:
"Ruth was the first to place monitors around a club and play video for the dancers. She had willed her records to the ARChive, but ghoulish record dealers camp out on the steps and buy them off the family." 
In February 2017. the New York Post ran a profile of Polsky titled "The Forgotten New Yorker Who Changed the '80s Music Scene".
- Phull, Hardeep. "The forgotten New Yorker who changed the '80s music scene", New York Post, February 7, 2017. Accessed March 19, 2017. "Born in 1954, Polsky grew up in Toms River, NJ, as one of four siblings. Obsessed with music from a young age, she majored in English at Clark University in Massachusetts, writing a column for the school paper and even interviewing a young Bruce Springsteen."
- Joe, R.: Disco Forum Report: Keys to Successful Programming Are Mulled, pg. 48, Billboard, August 16, 1980
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- Phull, Hardeep (February 7, 2017). "The forgotten New Yorker who changed the '80s music scene". New York Post. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
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- on YouTube October 12, 1984 video clip by Nelson Sullivan