Trailblazer Sandra Day O’Connor, one of only five women in her class at Stanford Law School, became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court in 1981. Highly regarded as an independent thinker, she was the key swing vote in many important cases, including the one that affirmed Roe v. Wade in 1992. She retired in 2006 to care for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s disease. O’Connor founded iCivics, a web education project for civic engagement and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for her lifetime accomplishments.
Harry Cabluck/AP