Ruth Bader Ginsburg wins $1M Berggruen prize for philosophy and culture

The award is given to thinkers whose ideas have shaped self-understanding.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been awarded the $1 million Berggruen Prize.

The award is given annually to "thinkers whose ideas have profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world," according to a statement from the Berggruen Institute.

Ginsburg, 86, will donate the money to charity or any nonprofit organization that she chooses, the institute said.

The associate justice was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton, becoming the second woman, following Sandra Day O'Connor, to serve on the nation's highest court.

Ginsburg was chosen over more than 500 nominees, including five other finalists that the institute said "included some of the world's most renowned thinkers from various fields including social science, global justice, animal rights, and bioethics."

"It is a true honor to have Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the recipient of this year's Berggruen Prize," said institute founder and chairman Nicolas Berggruen. "I am delighted the Jury has chosen to honor such a prolific leader in the field of jurisprudence."

Ginsburg will receive the award in a private ceremony on Dec. 16 at the New York Public Library.

Currently the oldest justice serving on the bench, Ginsburg has recently faced health issues including pancreatic cancer. She was treated for a "localized malignant tumor" on her pancreas in August and had malignant nodules removed from her lung in a New York hospital in December 2018.

The progressive justice, who has become a pop culture icon dubbed "Notorious RBG" and a hero for young activists, dismissed concerns over her health in an interview with NPR in July.

"There was a senator, I think it was after my pancreatic cancer, who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months," Ginsburg said. "That senator, whose name I have forgotten, is now himself dead, and I am very much alive."