Sandra Day O’Connor: A Remarkable Life and Legacy as the First Female Supreme Court Justice

Sandra Day O’Connor, a former justice of the US Supreme Court, has away. She was ninety-three.

In a statement provided to Us Weekly on Friday, December 1, the Supreme Court stated, “Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Sandra Day O’Connor died this morning in Phoenix, Arizona, of complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease, and a respiratory illness.”

Ronald Reagan, the former president, nominated O’Connor to the Supreme Court in 1989, making her the court’s first female justice. Reagan formally extended an offer to O’Connor to join the Supreme Court in June 1981, fulfilling a campaign pledge to choose a female justice.

In his appointment speech, Reagan praised O’Connor, saying, “She is truly a person for all seasons,” adding that she had “those unique qualities of temperament, fairness, intellectual capacity and devotion to public good which have characterized the 101 brethren who have preceded her.”

2002 Annual Awards Dinner of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Kissinger, Henry

In January 2006, O’Connor announced her retirement from the bench following 24 years of service.

“A native of the American Southwest, Sandra Day O’Connor became our country’s first female justice and paved a historic path. She handled that task with unwavering resolve, undeniable skill, and frank communication,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement made public by the Supreme Court. “A beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an articulate supporter of civics education, has passed away. We at the Supreme Court mourn his loss.” We also honor her lasting legacy as a devoted public servant and nationalist.

Sandra Day O Connor, 93, dies as a former justice of the Supreme Court


O’Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, and later moved to California to enroll in Stanford University’s undergraduate and law programs. She started her legal career in Frankfurt, Germany’s Quartermaster Market Center as a civilian attorney and as a deputy county attorney in San Mateo County, California. In 1958, she relocated her business to Maryvale, Arizona, and from 1965 to 1969, she served as Arizona’s associate attorney general. After that, she was chosen to serve two two-year terms in the Arizona State Senate. O’Connor joined the Maricopa County Superior Court as a judge in 1975 and subsequently transferred to the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1979.

After serving on the Supreme Court, O’Connor wrote five books about her experiences. She also started the nation’s top civics education portal, iCivics.

Sandra Day O Connor, 93, dies as a former justice of the Supreme Court

In addition to her brother Alan Day and her six grandchildren, O’Connor is survived by her three sons, Scott, Brian, and Jay. After being married to Sandra for 57 years, John O’Connor passed away in 2009, leaving her without a surviving spouse.

Plans for the memorial will be revealed later.

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