She was born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in a low-income, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn. Her mother was a major influence in her life.
In 1959, although she graduated first in her class at the Columbia Law Schools, she couldn't find a single job offer because she was a woman. In 1963, when she became a professor at Rutgers Law School, her salary was lower than her male colleagues because she was a woman.
In 1970, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the US to focus on women’s rights. In 1973, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She focused on gender discrimination lawsuits and had directly helped to end gender discrimination in many areas of the law.
In 1980, she was appointed as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Jimmy Carter. In 1993, she was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton. The second female Supreme Court justice, one of four to date.
“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
In 2006, she became the only serving female justice after O’Connor’s retirement (the first female Supreme Court justice)
In 2013, her fiery dissents on the Court’s controversial Shelby County v. Holder decision gave rise to her nickname, “Notorious R.B.G.”. She became a pop culture icon. In 2015, it led to a New York Times bestseller “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”
In 2020, she died at age 87. A few days before her death, she dictated a statement: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
She was an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights.
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