Happy 80th Birthday, Ruth Bader Ginsburg! 9 Wise & Witty Quotes from the Legal Pioneer

It's Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's eightieth birthday today, and we thought we'd celebrate her extraordinary life and incredible career by sharing some of her own words of wit and wisdom!

Brooklyn born Ginsburg has broken so many barriers for women it is almost hard to count. She began her legal career as one of only nine women in her Harvard Law School class. Not to be outdone by her male counterparts, she then proceeded to graduate first in her class-- at Columbia Law School, where she transferred for her final year. When she began teaching law, she was one of only twenty or so women teaching law in the entire country, eventually becoming Columbia Law School's first female tenured professor. She taught classes on women in the law before there were even course books on the subject. She co-founded the first law journal to focus exclusively on women's rights and co-founded the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU. She has argued (and won) several landmark sex discrimination cases in front of the Supreme Court. And in 1993, she became the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, where she still serves, and this only scratches the surface of the accomplishments of this inspiring MAKER.

Happy birthday, Justice Ginsburg! MAKERS thanks you for all of your tireless work to fight gender inequality and civil injustice, and we feel honored to have been able to capture your story.

We'll let her words speak for themselves. Enjoy the slideshow!


Justice Ginsburg was the second woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court when she was appointed by then President Bill Clinton. The first was Sandra Day O'Connor.   Watch Ruth's story.

College sweethearts and both lawyers, Ginsburg glowed as she shared memories of her late husband Marty and just how ahead of his time he was.   Watch the story.

It's hard to believe that not too long ago, law firms wouldn't hire women! Ginsburg shares some positivity for women of today who pursue careers in law.   Click to watch.  

Evidence of her supreme wit! When asked to share her most meaninful piece of advice, she shared some advice she received from her mother-in-law on her wedding day (accompanied by a packet of earplugs).

Amazingly, Justice Ginsburg could not get a job after graduating FIRST in her law class, because firms were not yet hiring women. Instead, she began teaching law, eventually using her intelligence to fight for equal rights for women, a path that led her to the Supreme Court.

Did you know Ruth Bader Ginsburg's parents didn't want her to get into law? They soon changed their minds...   Watch her tell the story.

Justice Ginsburg's devotion to fighting for equality rights led her to co-found the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU.

In 1996, she wrote the court’s landmark decision in United States v. Virginia, which held that the state-supported Virginia Military Institute could not refuse to admit women.

Born to working class parents in Brooklyn, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's contributions to law and to this country will never be forgotten. Watch her story.