John Jay O'Connor

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John Jay O'Connor
SandraOconnor and GeorgeWBush May2004.jpg
Associate Justice O'Connor and her husband John O'Connor with President George W. Bush in 2004
John Jay O'Connor III

(1930-01-10)January 10, 1930
DiedNovember 11, 2009(2009-11-11) (aged 79)
Alma materStanford University (Bachelor's degree, 1951 and law degree, 1953)

John Jay O'Connor III (January 10, 1930 – November 11, 2009) was an American lawyer and the husband of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the court.[1] O'Connor, a prominent lawyer in Arizona, suffered from Alzheimer's disease during his later life. His illness played a significant role in Sandra Day O'Connor's decision in 2005 to retire from the Supreme Court.[1]

Life and career[edit]

O'Connor was born on January 10, 1930, in San Francisco, California.[1] His parents were John Jay O'Connor II and Sally Flynn O'Connor.[1] He was of Irish Catholic descent and attended Saint Ignatius High School in San Francisco. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1951, and later received a law degree, also from Stanford, in 1953.[1]

O'Connor met his future wife, Sandra Day of Arizona, while both were law review editors and students at Stanford Law School.[1] The couple married in 1952.[1]

O'Connor served within the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corp following his graduation from law school. He was stationed in Frankfurt, West Germany, from 1954 until 1956. Ms O'Connor was employed in the Quartermaster Corps as a civilian lawyer.[1]

O'Connor returned to the United States and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. There he joined the law firm of Fennemore, Craig, von Ammon, McClennen & Udall.[1] Following Sandra Day O'Connor's appointment to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan, O'Connor moved with his family to Washington, D.C. He continued to practice law with two firms, Miller & Chevalier and Bryan Cave, while living in Washington.[1]

O'Connor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly twenty years before his death.[1] His deteriorating health played a significant role in Sandra Day O'Connor's decision to retire from the Supreme Court in 2005.[1]

O'Connor died of Alzheimer's disease on November 11, 2009, in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 79.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Hevesi, Dennis (2009-11-11). "John J. O'Connor III, Husband of Former Justice, Is Dead at 79". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-07.

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