Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish and second woman who served as the associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 to 2020, was born on this day in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York.

Ruth was the younger of the two children of Jewish parents Nathan Bader, a merchant, and Celia Bader. In her childhood, she used to participate in Jewish traditions. Ruth excelled in school, where she was heavily involved in student activities and earned excellent grades. She married Martin David Ginsburg in 1954, and has two children- a daughter, Jane, and a son, James.

Ginsberg received her BA degree from Cornell University. She attended Harvard Law School, and completed her LLB from Columbia Law School. Despite her excellent grades, she faced challenges finding a job as she was discriminated against for being a woman. Subsequently, she served as a law clerk to the Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 1959 to1961. From 1961 to 1963, she was a research associate and then associate director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure.

She served as a professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law from 1963 to 1972, and Columbia Law School from 1972 to 1980. In 1970, Ginsburg was a leading figure in gender-discrimination litigation and in 1971, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU’s General Counsel from 1973 to 1980, and on the National Board of Directors from 1974 to 1980.

In 1980, the then US President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

In 1993, then US President Bill Clinton nominated Ginsberg as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, where she served until she died in 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer. On the court, Ginsburg became known for her active participation in oral arguments and her habit of wearing jabots, or collars, with her judicial robes, some of which expressed a symbolic meaning.

(With inputs from US Supreme Court website)