Alexander von Gleichen-Rußwurm was born at Greifenstein Castle in Unterfranken on November 6, 1865. Gleichen-Rußwurm, a great-grandchild of the writer Friedrich Schiller, attended the military school in Metz and served from 1883 until 1895 as lieutenant and adjutant to the Grand Duke of Darmstadt.
He married in 1895 and lived after that at Greifenstein Castle and in Munich. Having been very familiar with the legacy of German Classicism, Alexander von Gleichen-Rußwurm tried to recreate it in his own works.
Besides a biography of his great-grandfather Schiller, he composed numerous dramas, poems, novels, and novellas as well as cultural-philosophical and cultural-historical essays. Because the memory of his famous ancestor was held in such high esteem, Alexander von Gleichen-Rußwurm's activity as a writer is hardly surprising. His grandmother Emilie, the youngest daughter of Friedrich Schiller, not only published Schiller's correspondence, but also built a museum in his honor in the Greifenstein Castle. Together with his father, Gleichen-Rußwurm donated documents from this collection in 1880, making possible the establishment of the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar.
In 1938, the National Socialist Party expropriated the family's ancestral property, prompting Gleichen-Rußwurm's move to Baden-Baden, where he lived and worked until his death. He was able to prevent the expropriation of his villa in Baden-Baden by France in 1945 with the help of a letter of honorary citizenship of the Republic of France, which had once been given to Friedrich Schiller.
Alexander von Gleichen-Rußwurm died on October 25, 1947, in Baden-Baden.