Aaronel deRoy Gruber was born in Pittsburgh. Since the age of ten, when she received a Brownie box camera from her father, she has been making photographs, but did not attempt to exhibit her photographic work until the early 1980s. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1940 in costume economics from Carnegie Institute of Technology, where she also took courses in the College of Fine Arts. The faculty members who were her principal influences included Robert Lepper, who encouraged her to work with various media, and Wilfred Radio and Samuel Rosenberg, who deepened her understanding of color theory and abstract art. After graduation, she was employed as a fashion coordinator at Kaufmann's department store in Pittsburgh.
DeRoy Gruber's work, involving various art forms ranging from sculpture to photography, has been exhibited extensively in Pittsburgh at such venues as the Carnegie Museum of Art, 1977; Photo Forum, 1991, 1994, and 1995; and in a show co-sponsored by the Silver Eye Center for Photography and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust at the Wood Street Gallery, 1996. Her work has also been exhibited at the U.S. Information Agency, Milan, 1965; Galeria Juano Mordo, Madrid, 1969; Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, 1969; Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan, 1974; and the Electric Gallery, Toronto, 1977. Articles and essays about her photographic work have been published in New York Art Review, 1988, and Photo Metro, San Francisco, 1993.