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Antonin Scalia is best known as an Associate Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed in 1986 by Ronald Reagan.
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Antonin Scalia is a U.S. Supreme Court Justice member born on March 11, 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a practicing lawyer in the 1960s, and then worked in public service in the '70s with roles in President Nixon’s general counsel and as the Assistant Attorney General. In the '80s he became a part of President Ronald Reagan’s Court of Appeals. In 1986 the President confirmed him as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Antonin Gregory Scalia is the only child of Salvadore Eugene and Catherine Panaro Scalia. His father emigrated from Sicily as a teenager and came through Ellis Island. The older Scalia got a college education and became a professor of romance languages at Brooklyn College. Antonin Scalia's mother was first generation Italian-American who worked as an elementary school teacher until Antonin was born. Early in life, he acquired the nickname "Nino," partly in remembrance of his grandfather, for whom he was named.
As a young boy, Antonin Scalia enjoyed being an only child in his immediate family as well as his extended family, a rare occurrence in Italian Catholic families at the time. Scalia has admitted that being the center of so much attention gave him a very secure feeling growing up. But being the only child also meant everyone's expectations were put squarely on him. His father was a major influence in his life providing him with much of his core values of conservatism, hard work, and discipline that he exhibits as an adult.
Antonin Scalia grew up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood of Queens in New York City. He attended a public elementary school where he was a straight A student. He went on to Xavier High School in Manhattan, a military school run by the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church. It was there that Scalia’s conservatism and deep religious conviction was further developed. Self-described as "not a cool kid," he spent much of his time absorbed in his school work, and he continued to receive high academic marks and finished first in his class.
In 1953, Antonin Scalia enrolled at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated valedictorian and summa cum laude with a bachelors degree in History in 1957. After graduation, he went on to study at Harvard Law School and during his final year he met his wife of 48 years, Maureen McCarthy, an undergraduate at Radcliffe College. The marriage has flourished with nine children and 28 grandchildren.
Antonin Scalia began his legal career at the law offices of Jones, Day, Cockley, and Reavis in Cleveland, Ohio in 1961. He was highly regarded and would likely have made partner, but like his father, he longed to teach. In 1967, he took a professor position at the University of Virginia Law School and moved his family to Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 1972, Antonin Scalia entered public service when President Nixon appointed him general counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy where he helped formulate regulations for the cable television industry.
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The Supreme Court has presided over landmark cases that have changed the history of the United States. At times, the judges themselves have been the history makers, as in the case of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice; Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; and Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Here’s a look at the famous judges who have served on the United States' highest court.
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