Sonia Sotomayor facts for kids

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Sonia Sotomayor
Official Supreme Court photo of Sonia Sotomayor
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Assumed office
August 8, 2009
Nominated by Barack Obama
Preceded by David Souter
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
In office
October 7, 1998 – August 6, 2009
Nominated by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Daniel Mahoney
Succeeded by Raymond Lohier
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
August 12, 1992 – October 7, 1998
Nominated by George H. W. Bush
Preceded by John Walker
Succeeded by Victor Marrero
Personal details
Born
Sonia Maria Sotomayor

June 25, 1954 (1954-06-25) (age 65)
Template:The Bronx
Political party Democratic (Before 2009)
Independent (2009–present)
Spouse(s)
Kevin Noonan
(m. 1976; div. 1983)
Education Princeton University (BA)
Yale University (JD)

Sonia Sotomayor (born: June 25, 1954) is a United States Supreme Court justice. She has been on the Court since 2009, and was on a lower court before that. When on the lower court, she ended the 1994 baseball strike.

She is the first and only Latina (hispanic women) on the Court. Sotomayor is Puerto Rican and is from the Bronx.

Sonia Sotomayor 13 age six or seven
Sotomayor as a young girl

Sotomayor was born in New York City to parents who were from Puerto Rico. As a child, she was interested in reading the Nancy Drew series and other detective stories. She had a rough childhood since her alcoholic father died when she was nine. Throughout her time in high school and at Princeton, Sotomayor was a charismatic and inspirational leader.

She graduated Princeton with a history degree, went to Yale University to study law and then served as a U.S District Court judge and judge for U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Sonia Sotomayor 8 at stadium
Sotomayor with her nephews at Yankee Stadium in 2007

Sotomayor long lived in Greenwich Village in New York City and had few financial assets other than her home. She enjoys shopping, traveling, and giving gifts and helps support her mother and her mother's husband in Florida.

She maintains ties with Puerto Rico, visiting once or twice a year, speaking there occasionally, and visiting cousins and other relatives who still live in the Mayagüez area. She has long stressed her ethnic identity, saying in 1996, "Although I am an American, love my country and could achieve its opportunity of succeeding at anything I worked for, I also have a Latina soul and heart, with the magic that carries."

Awards and honors

Sonia Sotomayor by Gage Skidmore
Sotomayor at the 2017 John P. Frank Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University as the guest of honor.

Sotomayor has received honorary law degrees from Lehman College (1999), Princeton University (2001), Brooklyn Law School (2001), Pace University School of Law (2003), Hofstra University (2006), Northeastern University School of Law (2007), Howard University (2010), St. Lawrence University (2010), New York University (2012),Yale University (2013), and the University of Puerto Rico (2014).

She was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2002. She was given the Outstanding Latino Professional Award in 2006 by the Latino/a Law Students Association. In 2008, Esquire magazine included Sotomayor on its list of "The 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century". In 2013, Sotomayor won the Woodrow Wilson Award at her alma mater Princeton University.

In June 2010, the Bronxdale Houses development, where Sotomayor grew up, was renamed after her. The Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and Justice Sonia Sotomayor Community Center comprise 28 buildings with some 3,500 residents. While many New York housing developments are named after well-known people, this was only the second to be named after a former resident. In 2011, the Sonia M. Sotomayor Learning Academies, a public high school complex in Los Angeles, was named after her.

In 2013, a painting featuring her, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan was unveiled at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. According to the Smithsonian at the time, the painting was on loan to the museum for three years.

In May 2015 she received the Katharine Hepburn medal from Bryn Mawr College. The Katharine Hepburn Medal recognizes women who change their worlds: those whose lives, work, and contributions embody the intelligence, drive, and independence of the four-time Oscar winner and her namesake mother, an early feminist activist.

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