Another year, another candle on the cake for Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 85 years old today.
At the start of her career, Ginsburg made the law reviews at both Harvard and Columbia Law Schools, graduating first in her class at the latter university. She didn't receive a single job offer after graduation (since women lawyers were ... unsavory prospects at the time), but she eventually landed a clerkship and worked at Columbia Law School's International Procedure Project before moving into academia.
Per the ACLU (with whom she founded the Women's Rights Project in 1972), after Ginsburg joined the faculty of Rutgers Law School in 1963 and learned that her salary was lower than that of her male colleagues, she "joined an equal pay campaign with other women teaching at the university, which resulted in substantial increases for all the complainants." That fight was a precursor to her future legal battles for women's rights — Ginsburg focused on sex discrimination lawsuits thereafter, until she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
Ginsburg was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She became the second woman to ever serve on the country's highest federal court, and she is one of four to date. Dubbed by some as "The Great Dissenter" or "The Queen of the Dissent," Ginsburg has been very vocal about her judicial opinions — for example, "making sure the gender wage gap got its due attention" after the Court decided 5-4 in favor of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in the historic Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company ruling in 2007.