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Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, an unwavering voice of moderate conservatism and the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, has died.
She was 93.
The court says she died in Phoenix on Friday, of complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness.
In 2018, she announced that she had been diagnosed with “the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease.”
Her husband, John O’Connor, died of complications of Alzheimer’s in 2009.
O’Connor’s nomination in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan and subsequent confirmation by the Senate ended 191 years of male exclusivity on the high court.
A native of Arizona who grew up on her family’s sprawling ranch, O’Connor wasted little time building a reputation as a hard worker who wielded considerable political clout on the nine-member court.
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