The Supreme Court confirmed that the judge died at her home in Washington after complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
Ginsburg was hospitalized for a potential infection in July. “She underwent an endoscopic procedure at Johns Hopkins this afternoon to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last August,” spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg told CNN in a statement at the time.
The Brooklyn native previously suffered from acute cholecystitis, a benign gallbladder condition which she received treatment for in May. She was hospitalized in November 2018 after fracturing three ribs in a fall. She underwent surgery to remove two cancerous nodules the following month.
Ginsburg fought cancer four times, most recently in August 2019. She announced in January that she was cancer-free.
The judge became an icon for women’s rights as she served on the Supreme Court, to which she was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was only the second female justice after Sandra Day O’Connor. Before serving on the country’s highest court, she studied at Cornell, graduated from Columbia Law School and became the first female tenured professor at Columbia.
Ginsburg made her mark on pop culture in recent years. Not only did Kate McKinnon spoof her on Saturday Night Live, but she was also the subject of the 2018 documentary RBG and the 2018 biopic On the Basis of Sex. Felicity Jones portrayed her in the movie and confessed she was “insanely nervous” to meet her.
“I felt like I wanted to curtsy,” the actress, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly in January 2019. “Ruth was incredibly welcoming. We went to her office first and it felt like a very warm environment — covered in photographs of friends and family and all sorts of mementos that had been sent to her by her fans.”
Scroll down to see tributes to Ginsburg.