June 25 - Happy Birthday, Sonia Sotomayor

Posted on June 25, 2020

The first Hispanic and Latina justice on the U.S. Supreme Court!

Born in The Bronx in New York City on this date in 1954...
Both of her parents born in Puerto Rico...
Her dad having only a third-grade education, not speaking any English, and dying when Sonia Sotomayor was just 9 years old...

...You might not have guessed that Sotomayor would achieve great things!

She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age seven. She was inspired by fictional girl-detective Nancy Drew, but her doctors suggested that she would need a different career than "detective." Drawing on inspiration from fictional lawyer Perry Mason, Sotomayor decided at age 10 that she would herself be a lawyer when she grew up.

A single mom, after her husband died, Sonia Sotomayor's mother became a practical nurse and encouraged her children to take advantage of schooling to gain an education. That encouragement apparently worked: not only did Sonia graduate from Princeton (B.A., summa cum laude) and Yale (J.D., editor of the Yale Law Journal) and go on to become an assistant district attorney, a lawyer in private practice, a judge and then of course a justice on SCOTUS - not only did she succeed hugely in life, but her younger brother Juan became a doctor and a university professor!

It's not just all of that traditional success that makes Sonia Sotomayor amazing, it's her passion for human rights, for reform of the criminal justice system, for equality under the law!

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