Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Her Story


Soha Khan

Mr. Cartegena’s Supreme Court Gavel Taken from Room 1006 at Wellington Landings Middle School.

Lorelei Kelley, Former News Staff

The notorious RBG. She is known worldwide for her accomplishment in paving the way for women in America. But how did she do it?

Bader was born on March 15, 1933, as Joan Ruth Bader. She was the youngest of two children (although her sister, Marilyn, died when she was 14 months old). Her parents, Nathan and Celia, brought her up Jewish, and they regularly attended synagogue. 

Tragedy struck when Bader was in her early years of high school. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Celia fought hard but eventually died just four days before Ruth’s graduation ceremony, preventing her from attending. 

Ruth continued on to college, attending Cornell University with a full scholarship. It was during this time she met the man she would end up marrying, Martin Ginsburg. They would get married nine days after they graduated from Cornell. 

Soon after, Martian was drafted into the U.S. Army, moving the newfound family to Oklahoma. There they had their first-born a beautiful baby girl named Jane.

After Martain’s time with the military was over, the three of them moved once more over to Massachusetts, where they both took law at Harvard. However, Mr. Ginsburg’s schooling quickly took a halt when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Ruth had to work to raise her daughter, take care of her husband, and maintain her grades at possibly the hardest law school in the country all at once. Although it was challenging she excelled at all three. She finished her education at Columbia Law School and graduated valedictorian. 

RBG accomplished so much, yet struggled to find work. As a woman in the 1950’s, most people were not really open to the idea of a woman holding a higher education job. Especially one who is a mother.

After tirelessly searching, she found a job as a professor’s assistant. She soon after had her son. Overwhelmed with joy she remembered how hard it was for her to find a job as a mother and a woman altogether. She became an active speaker for gender equality, writing numerous articles on “women’s liberation”. One of which would include, “an Idaho state law that expressly preferred men to women in determining who should administer the estates of people who die without a will” according to Britannica

As Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Ginsburg went on to continue fighting for gender equality by teaching seminars, coauthoring textbooks on the subject, being a founding counsel on a Women’s Rights Project, participating in Supreme Court Briefs, and presenting herself at the Supreme Court, winning at a ratio of 5:1.
In June of 1993, Bill Clinton choose Ginsburg to be appointed for the position of the new Supreme Court Justice. She won the support of the Senate 96-3.

Ruth accomplished so much, well earning her nickname, the Notorious RBG. She paved the way for many women in politics and in the workplace. She inspired many with her humorous quotes persuading others to act with peace and to be informed of other perspectives. “I’m a very strong believer in listening and learning from others.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg.