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Ruth Bader Ginsburg first met Marty Ginsburg on a blind date when they were undergrad students at Cornell University. “He was the first boy I ever knew who cared that I had a brain. Most guys in the ’50s didn’t," said RBG.
After Cornell, the couple went on to study at Harvard Law School together. In a class of 500 men, RBG was just one of nine women. “You felt you were constantly on display. So if you were called on in class you felt that… if you didn’t perform well, that you were failing not just yourself but for all women.” Despite the uphill battle that his wife faced in the legal world, Marty always stood by her side and championed her career.
At home, they divided up the chores equally, which was unusual for the time. RBG cleaned up and Marty took over the cooking duties at home. "I learned very early in our marriage that Ruth was a fairly terrible cook, and, for lack of interest, unlikely to improve. Out of self-preservation, I decided I had better learn to cook." Over the next few decades the two worked together to juggle their family as well as their careers.
In 1993, after SCOTUS Justice Byron White retired, Marty, knowing that RBG would never toot her own horn, campaigned for his wife's name to be on the list of potential judges. He was able to get her an interview with President Clinton and after 15 minutes of talking, RBG clinched the job.
In 2010, Marty was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Before his last trip to the hospital he left a note for RBG: "6/17/10
My dearest Ruth—
You are the only person I have loved in my life, setting aside, a bit, parents and kids and their kids, and I have admired and loved you almost since the day we first met at Cornell some 56 years ago. What a treat it has been to watch you progress to the very top of the legal world!
I will be in JH Medical Center until Friday, June 25, I believe, and between then and now I shall think hard on my remaining health and life, and whether on balance the time has come for me to tough it out or to take leave of life because the loss of quality now simply overwhelms. I hope you will support where I come out, but I understand you may