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In RBG's Own Words: Listen To 5 NPR Interviews With The Liberal Icon

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87.
Eugene Gologursky
Getty Images for Berggruen Insti
Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the feminist Supreme Court justice who inspired generations of women, died on Friday at the age of 87.

Throughout her career, Ginsburg granted a number of interviews to NPR. Explore some of her recent, more memorable remarks.

On retiring:

The octogenarian served 27 years on the bench over four presidencies, five bouts with cancer, and countless opinions on groundbreaking legal decisions.

In 2016, amid a heated election between Democrat Hillary Clinton, and eventual White House winner, Donald Trump, Ginsburg said she had no plans on retiring until she could no longer "do the job full-steam."

Listen here.

On health:

In 2019, while battling pancreatic cancer, Ginsburg sat with NPR's Nina Totenberg to discuss her health.

"My first two cancer bouts ... Marty [her husband] stayed with me-- stayed with me in the hospital, sleeping on an uncomfortable couch, despite his bad back. And I knew that someone was there who really cared about me and would make sure that things didn't go wrong," she said at the time.

Ginsburg's husband, Martin "Marty" Ginsburg, died of cancer in 2010.

Listen here.

On regret:

Ginsburg, the soft-spoken, outspoken Supreme Court justice, had more than two decades on the court and more than eight-and-a-half decades of life to ponder the nature of regret.

Still, in an interview last year, Ginsburg found herself feeling fortunate and relatively unburdened by longing for moments past.

"I do think that I was born under a very bright star," Ginsburg said then.

"When you think about — the world has changed really in what women are doing. I went to law school when women were less than 3% of lawyers in the country; today, they are 50%. I never had a woman teacher in college or in law school. The changes have been enormous. And they've just — they've gone much too far [to be] going back."

Read more here.

On love:

Reading a letter from her late husband, Ginsburg gave listeners a glimpse into the couple's love story that spanned more than half a century.

"I found this letter in the drawer next to Marty's bed in the hospital. And it reads: '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.'"

Listen to Ginsburg read the letter in her own voice here.

"On the Basis of Sex":

Towards the end of her life, Ginsburg, known affectionately by fans as RBG, grew into a pop culture icon and fascination around her life spawned the biographical film On the Basis of Sex,starring Felicity Jones.

The 2018 film follows Ginsburg's time as a young professor focusing on sex discrimination law.

Listen to more about the film here.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.