Sandra Day O’Connor

Born:March 26, 1930 (age 90)
Career:U.S. Supreme Court, 1981-2006
Arizona Court of Appeals, 1979-1981
Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court, 1975-1979
Arizona State Senate, 1969-1975
Education:B.A. and LL.B., Stanford University

Sandra Day O'Connor is a retired associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving from 1981 until her retirement in 2006. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, she was the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.

O'Connor was born on March 26, 1930, in El Paso, Texas. She received her B.A. in economics in 1950 and her LL.B. in 1952 from Stanford University. After graduation from law school, unable to find employment at a law firm because of her gender, she worked as a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, California, after offering to work for no salary and without an office. She then served as a civilian attorney for Quartermaster Market Center, Frankfurt, Germany, from 1954 to 1957. She practiced law in Maryvale, Arizona, from 1958 to 1960, and served as assistant attorney general of Arizona from 1965 to 1969.

O'Connor was appointed to the Arizona State Senate in 1969. She was re-elected to two, two-year terms and became the first woman to serve as its majority leader. In 1975, she was elected judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court where she served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals. She served on the Court of Appeals until her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Since her retirement from the Supreme Court, O'Connor has continued to hear cases on a part-time basis in federal district courts and courts of appeals as a visiting judge. In 2009, she founded O'Connor House, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving complex issues through civil discourse and collaborative action. In 2015, it became the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute, with a focus on creating an environment where important policy decisions are made through a process of civil discussion, critical analysis of facts and informed participation of all citizens. O'Connor serves as founder and advisor to the institute.

In 2013, her book "Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court" was published.