Sandra Day O'Connor
March 26, 1930

Sandra Day was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up on her family's large cattle farm in southeastern Arizona. When Sandra was little she lived in a small four-room adobe ranch house that did not have running water or electricity. Sandra was an only child until she was eight; then her sister and brother were born in 1938 and 1939. During the summer Sandra entertained herself by reading and helping with the chores since their were no neighbors to play with. Sandra lived with her Grandmother in El Paso, Texas during the school year so she could attend a private school.

Sandra was sixteen when she graduated from high school. She entered Stanford University and earned a degree in economics in 1950. Sandra had studied law in her senior year so she continued on to Stanford Law School following her graduation. Sandra was one of the top three law students in her graduating class when she graduated in 1952. Sandra married John Jay O'Connor III shortly after graduation.

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Sandra tried to find a job as a lawyer, but many law firms would not hire her because she was a woman. Sandra finally found a job and became a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, California. Sandra's husband, John graduated a year after she did. John joined the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps, and moved with Sandra to Frankfurt, Germany for three years. While they were overseas, Sandra worked as a civilian lawyer for the Quartermaster Corps.

When the couple returned to the United States they started a family. Over the next six years Sandra and John had three boys: Scott, Brian, and Jay. After the birth of her first son Sandra opened a private law firm with a partner. She stopped working after Brian was born and became a full-time mother from 1960 - 1965. During that time she did a lot of volunteer work and became involved in politics. Sandra returned to work full-time as the assistant state attorney general in 1965. In 1969 Sandra became the state senator for Arizona. She was the first woman to be elected majority leader in 1972.

In 1974 Sandra was elected to the state judgeship on the Maricopa County Superior Court and served as judge until 1979 when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Twenty-one months later, on August 19, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra to the United States Supreme Court. On September 15, 1981 members of the Judiciary Committee recommended her approval. The Senate confirmed her appointment and Sandra took the oath of office September 26, 1981. Sandra Day O'Connor is the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

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