Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Mourns Passing of Founder

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In Memoriam

Honoring the life and legacy of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

The namesake organization founded by the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court is mourning the loss of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

“No words can describe the profound loss of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The organization she founded remains resolute and will redouble our efforts to continue her lifetime work and extraordinary legacy,” said Gay Firestone Wray, Board of Directors Co-Chair.

The Institute will carry on its mission to further the distinguished legacy and lifetime work of Justice O’Connor to advance American democracy through civil discourse, civic engagement, and civics education.

“From our organization’s founding in 2009 following her retirement from the Supreme Court, Justice O’Connor led our organization with vision and intellect, and she exemplified our nation’s ideals,” said Sarah Suggs, President and CEO. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to continue her work and dedication to our great nation.”

Sandra Day was born on March 26, 1930, in El Paso, Texas. She spent much of her younger years on her family’s 160,000-acre Lazy B ranch on the Arizona-New Mexico border. At 16 she went to Stanford University for college, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in economics. She stayed for law school. Day graduated and, six months later, married John O’Connor, the love of her life. They eventually moved to Phoenix, where Sandra Day O’Connor began her rapid professional rise, which included holding positions as assistant attorney general of Arizona, majority leader of the Arizona State Senate, and judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals. She also found time to raise three sons—Scott, Brian, and Jay—and make every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

On August 19, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court; on September 21 she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 99-0.  

Her career on the Court was historic. Justice O’Connor will be remembered not only for being the first female on the Court, or for her clear-eyed judicial reasoning and writings and major decisions, but also for her insistence on civility, her penchant for bringing people together to solve problems, whether in Washington, D.C. or over tacos and beer in her Arizona dining room.

“She overcame obstacles with quiet skill and determination and, in the process, inspired and continues to inspire countless others,” said Institute Board of Directors Co-Chair Matt Feeney.

We will miss you, Justice O’Connor.  

About the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy
Founded in 2009 by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the O’Connor Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3), continues her distinguished legacy and lifetime work to advance American democracy through multigenerational civil discourse, civic engagement and civics education. Visit www.OConnorInstitute.org for more information.

Contact Information:
Heather Schader
COO
hschader@oconnorinstitute.org
602-730-3300 x8


Original Source: Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Mourns Passing of Founder

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