US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a leading liberal voice on the court who championed civil rights and became an unexpected pop culture icon, has died at 87, the court announced Friday.
The justice died at home in Washington, DC, due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her family. Ginsburg revealed in July 2020 she was undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer. She had been treated for the disease earlier four times.
For more like this
Subscribe to the Bioreports Now newsletter for our editors’ picks of the most important stories of the day.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
Ginsburg was appointed to the nation’s highest court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was the second woman appointed to the court, and served more than 27 years.
“She fought for the unheard, and through her decisions, she changed the course of American history,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted Friday. “We can never repay what she has given us, but we all can honor her legacy by working toward true equality, together.”
Ginsburg was born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn on March 15, 1933. She received her bachelor’s from Cornell University, attended Harvard Law School, and received her LL.B. from Columbia Law School, where she later taught law. In 1954, she married Martin D. Ginsburg, a prominent attorney, and was by his side until his death in 2010. In 1971, she helped launching the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973–1980, and on the national board of directors from 1974–1980.
The justice wrote My Own Words, a compilation of her speeches and writings, in 2016. The documentary RBG, about her life as an unexpected pop culture icon, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and later opened in theaters.
“When we asked her several years ago how she wanted she wanted to be remembered,” RBG filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen said in statement Friday, “she said with characteristic modesty, ‘Just as someone who did whatever she could, with whatever limited talent she had, to move society along in the direction I would like it to be for my children and grandchildren.'”
As the news spread Friday evening, the dawn of the Jewish new year, many more tributes poured in from politicians, entertainers, business leaders, sports figures and regular Americans who looked up to Ginsburg and wanted to thank her for her legacy.
“Today, on the Jewish New Year, we recall the principle of ‘tikkun olam’ which says, the world is flawed and our role is to leave it better than it was, designer Kenneth Cole tweeted. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg has done that.”
“Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me,” former Senator Hillary Clinton tweeted. “There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.”
“This is devastating, an incalculable loss,” the outspoken US women’s national soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe tweeted. “We owe so much to RBG.”
Read more on our Bioreports sister site CBSNews.com.