John J. O'Connor III dies (Sandra Day O'Connor's husband)

John J. O’Connor III has died. His ill health prompted Sandra Day O’Connor to retire from the Supreme Court.

Is there some name to pin down on the “first husband” of a Supreme Court Justice?

The following New York Times article had only two errors!

–Barry Popik


John J. O’Connor III, Husband of Former Justice, Is Dead at 79

John J. O’Connor III, a lawyer whose struggle with Alzheimer’s disease was a large factor in the decision by his wife, former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, to retire from the United States Supreme Court, died Wednesday in Phoenix. He was 79.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, the Supreme Court said in a statement.

Mr. O’Connor was a well-known Arizona lawyer who became prominent in Washington as well after his wife was named to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. She was the first woman to serve on the court.


Correction: November 13, 2009
An obituary on Thursday about John J. O’Connor III, the husband of the retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, misstated the title that William H. Rehnquist held on the court. He was chief justice of the United States, not chief justice of the Supreme Court. The obituary also misidentified the publication that was the source of a story about the O’Connors’ early days in Washington. It is The National Law Journal, not The National Law Review.