After law school, they settled down with their husband in Phoenix, where they raised three sons. She became a public sector lawyer and was interested in Republican politics. In 1969, the Governor of Arizona named her a free seat in the State Senate, and in two more elections she took the rank of Majority Leader of the Senate, the first woman to hold the post.
At the start of the Supreme Court In 1988, Justice O & Connor heard that she had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. She missed no court day.
When President George W. Bush called Justice O & # 39; Connor on the day she announced her retirement, he said, "You were pretty good for an old ranch girl," a reference to her western roots.
"It was never corrosive or sarcastic, there never was personal attacks on other judges," he said of their views. "She was really a decent person, and that decency was reflected in how she treated lawyers in the courtroom."
Justice O & # 39; Connor led an illustrious life that was more defined than just their time on the bench, said Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, who worked for Justice O in the 1990s. # 39; Connor worked
"She was a lawyer, she was a politician," Mr. Volokh said. "She was an advocate of civics, she was also a mother and a woman, which in my opinion was hugely important to her."