Justice O’Connor was the first woman to serve as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. She received her LL.B. from Stanford University in 1952 and worked in California and Frankfurt, Germany before settling in Arizona. She served as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1965–1969, and then was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Arizona State Senate. She ran and won re-election to the state senate twice, serving two full terms. In 1975, she was elected Judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court and served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
In 1981, her nomination by President Reagan as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was confirmed by the senate. Justice O’Connor retired from the Supreme Court in 2006 to spend more time with her husband, John Jay O’Connor, who since passed away from Alzheimer’s. President Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.