affectionately called “r.b.g.” Because of her fans, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has inspired generations of women to break down gender barriers. Even after facing gender discrimination as she pursued her academic goals, Ginsburg pressed on and became the second woman, and the first Jewish woman, to serve on the Supreme Court.
ruth bader ginsburg was born on march 15, 1933 in brooklyn, new york. Born into a Jewish family, her father Nathan Bader immigrated to the United States, while her mother Celia Amster Bader was originally from New York. the ginsburg family valued her education and instilled in her a love of learning. she attended p.s. 238 for James Madison Elementary School and High School in Brooklyn before going on to attend Cornell University. ginsburg graduated from cornell with a bachelor’s degree in 1954, earning high honors in government and honors in all subjects. she was also a class marshal in the college of arts and sciences. That same year she married Martin D. Ginsburg and the couple have two children together.
After graduating from Cornell, Ginsburg subsequently began attending Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Ginsburg was one of 9 women in a class of 500 students. She often faced gender discrimination and was asked to explain how she felt about taking a place on the show instead of a man. Ginsburg and her female colleagues were called out in class for “comic relief” and were even barred from using certain sections of the library. Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School in 1958 for her senior year. During her studies, she did the Harvard and Columbia Law Review. ginsburg graduated with her law degree from columbia in 1959 at the valedictorian of her class. however, even with all of her academic achievements, it was difficult for her to find employment after graduation. she explained, “in the 1950s, traditional law firms were just beginning to make a turn in hiring Jews. …but to be a woman, a Jew, and a mother, that combination was too much.”  ginsburg was able to secure a position as a law clerk for the honorable edmund l. Palmieri, a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1959. She served in that position until 1961.
Following her internship, ginsburg began working as a research associate for the columbia law school project on international proceedings. after a year as a research associate, she became an associate director and continued in that position for a year. In 1963, Ginsburg began as a law professor at Rutgers University Law School and taught until 1972. She also became involved with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and was instrumental in founding its rights project. The Woman in 1971. Ginsburg returned to Columbia Law School in 1972, where she became the first woman hired to receive a tenure. While teaching at Columbia, she also served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973 to 1980 and on the National Board of Directors from 1974 to 1980. During that time, she became a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, california, from 1977 to 1978.
ginsburg was appointed to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia circuit in 1980 by president jimmy carter. She served there for thirteen years, before being nominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She accepted his nomination and took her position as a Supreme Court Justice on August 10, 1993. She became the second woman, and first Jewish woman, to serve on the supreme court. During her tenure as a judge, Ginsburg has fiercely advocated for gender equality and women’s rights. For example, she wrote the court’s opinion in United States v. Virginia, ruling that qualified women could not be denied admission to the Virginia Military Institute. She was also a dissenting voice regarding the court’s decision in the case ledbetter v. goodyear tire & rubber company case, denying a woman’s claim of gender pay discrimination. Ginsburg subsequently worked with President Barack Obama in 2009 on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to combat wage disparities. At eighty-seven years old, Ginsburg continued to work for gender equality as a Supreme Court Justice. Ella Ginsburg died on September 18, 2020 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.