U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who became a hero of the American left in her more than quarter-century on the nation’s top court, died on Friday at age 87.
Here are some facts about Ginsburg:
* President Bill Clinton chose Ginsburg to be the second woman on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993. After the retirement of conservative Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2006, Ginsburg was the sole woman on the court before being joined by fellow liberals Sonia Sotomayor in 2009 and Elena Kagan in 2010.
* Ginsburg, who was born in New York on March 15, 1933, went to Cornell University and Harvard Law School before receiving her law degree from Columbia University, where she later taught. Upon her graduation from Columbia, no New York City law firms tried to hire her.
* While in private practice Ginsburg won five cases involving women’s rights before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was quoted in Time magazine as saying her strategy was to “attack the most pervasive stereotype in the law - that men are independent and women are men’s dependents.”
* On the Supreme Court Bader developed a reputation as a tough questioner and emerged as part of its liberal faction with little tolerance for sexual discrimination. She wrote the court’s 1996 ruling that required the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or lose its state funding.
* Ginsburg faced numerous health issues and was treated for colon cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009 and 2019 and lung cancer in December 2018. In May 2020, she was back in the hospital for treatments for a benign gall bladder condition. She was hospitalized again on July 14 for an infection related to earlier treatment.
* In her latter years, Ginsburg gained a newfound celebrity, becoming known as “Notorious RBG” after the late rapper Notorious BIG. An Oscar-nominated documentary film and a Hollywood biographical movie about her were released in 2018.
* Ginsburg was a friend of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative stalwart. They shared a love of opera
* She generated headlines of her own when she waded into the 2016 presidential election by making a series of critical comments about Republican nominee Donald Trump. In one interview, she called him a “faker.”
* Ginsburg resisted calls made by some liberals that she retire toward the end of President Barack Obama’s presidency so as to ensure a Democratic president would appoint her successor.
Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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