Birthday: June 10, 1932
Died At Age: 78
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: Martin David Ginsburg
Born in: Brooklyn, New York City
Famous as: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Husband
Spouse/Ex-: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (m. 1954 – his death. 2010)
father: Morris Ginsburg
mother: Evelyn Ginsburg
children: James Steven Ginsburg, Jane C. Ginsburg
Died on: June 27, 2010
place of death: Washington, D.C.
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: Cornell University, Harvard University
Who was Martin D. Ginsburg?
Martin D Ginsburg was an American taxation lawyer and the husband of ‘United States Supreme Court’ judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Born in Brooklyn, Martin grew up in Long Island in an orthodox Jewish family. Interested in becoming a lawyer, he attended ‘Cornell University’ and earned his BA degree. He later attended ‘Harvard Law School’ and earned the highly respected JD (Juris Doctor) degree. He also played golf during his years at ‘Cornell.’ Following his graduation from ‘Cornell University,’ he worked as an ROTC officer in the ‘Army Reserve’ before enrolling at ‘Harvard.’ Immediately after his graduation from ‘Harvard Law,’ he started working at a law firm named ‘Weil, Gotshal & Manges.’ Simultaneously, he prepared to enter the New York bar, which he cracked just a year later, in 1959. Martin also taught law at many prestigious institutions such as the ‘New York University Law School,’ ‘Stanford Law School,’ and ‘Harvard Law School.’ He is also known as the husband of ‘Supreme Court’ judge Ruth Bader, who famously challenged several societal norms to reach the respectable position of a judge of the highest court in the US.
Childhood & Early Life
Martin David Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on June 10, 1932, into an American Jewish family. His father, Morris Ginsburg, was a department store executive, and his mother, Evelyn, was a housewife. He grew up amidst humble conditions in New York’s Long Island.
After graduating high school from a local New York school, he joined ‘Cornell University.’ While at ‘Cornell,’ he was an active sportsperson and loved golf. He was a star on the university team. However, he chose law as his future career and geared up to join ‘Harvard Law,’ the best law school in the country.
Following his graduation from ‘Cornell University’ in 1953, Martin trained with the army for a while. He worked as an ROTC officer in the ‘Army Reserve’ and was eventually called for active duty, which he did in Oklahoma. During his army years, he also took advantage of his chemistry background and worked mostly in the mess hall.
Around the same time, he met Ruth Bader and started dating her. He got married to Ruth in 1954, and they pursued law together at ‘Harvard Law.’
In his early 20s, he experienced a major roadblock when he found out that he had testicular cancer. He underwent radiation therapies and two surgeries to get rid of the tumor successfully. Meanwhile, he continued his education from ‘Harvard Law’ and graduated in 1958.
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Graduating with a degree from ‘Harvard Law’ guaranteed a great start for Martin’s law career. He interviewed for and got a job at the popular New York-based law firm ‘Weil, Gotshal & Manges.’ He was also inducted into the ‘New York’ bar in 1959. He gained some significant work experience at the company and worked there until the late 1970s.
While the job paid him well enough, he developed a keen interest in teaching. In 1967, he started teaching as an adjunct faculty member at the ‘New York University Law School’ and stayed there until 1979. He was also the visiting law professor at ‘Stanford Law School’ for a year, from 1977 to 1978. In 1978, he finally decided that he wanted to pursue teaching full-time. This also gave him enough time to support his wife, who was on her way to become a ‘Supreme Court’ judge.
He received invitations to teach from several other universities and accepted them. In the 1970s and the 1980s, he worked as a faculty member at ‘Harvard Law School,’ the ‘University of Chicago Law School,’ and ‘New York University.’ He was also a tenured professor at ‘Columbia Law School.’ In 1980, he became a faculty member at ‘Georgetown University’ and stayed there until his death in 2010.
In 1971, Martin’s company, ‘Weil, Gotshal & Manges,’ represented business magnate and politician H Ross Perot in a business matter. Martin handled his case and they both ended up forming a strong friendship. Martin used Perot’s influence for the senate confirmation of his wife’s nomination to the ‘US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’ in 1980. President Jimmy Carter had nominated her to the court.
In 1984, Martin resolved issues regarding the acquisition of ‘Perot’s ‘Electronic Data Systems’ by ‘General Motors.’ Complex tax questions were needed to be addressed in order to make that happen, and by then, Martin was one of the most well-known tax law attorneys in the country.
Martin and his wife had been under scrutiny of the government over their accumulated wealth. Martin averted all the questions regarding the issue. Their finances were eventually resolved in 1980, when Martin sold all his stocks in the company that were concerned with the cases that his wife was handling as a judge.
Personal Life & Marriage
Martin D Ginsburg is also known as the husband of the second female ‘US Supreme Court’ judge in the country, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The couple met on a blind date when he was at ‘Cornell University.’ Martin was a year senior to her and was 18 years old at that time.
Ruth once stated that Martin was the first boy who was attracted to her brains rather than her beauty. The American society in the 1950s was not too fond of women who were “smart.” The couple started dating soon.
They decided to pursue law together at ‘Harvard Law School.’ They got married in 1954 and had a daughter, Jane Carol Ginsburg, in 1955. James Steven Ginsburg, their son, was born in 1965.
The couple stayed together and supported each other in their respective careers. As Martin became a popular tax law attorney, Ruth climbed the stairs of success, too, and eventually became a judge of the ‘Supreme Court.’
While Ruth was very busy with her career, Martin performed most of the household chores, such as dropping the kids to school and cooking. Martin also cooked for Ruth’s clerks on several occasions.
Awards & Honours
Martin had won several awards and honors in the course of his tax law career. In 2006, he won the ‘American Bar Association Tax Section’s Distinguished Service Award.’ He was also made ‘Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.’
In 2018, director Mimi Leder released the film ‘On the Basis of Sex,’ which was a biography of Ruth and narrated her journey of becoming a ‘Supreme Court’ judge. The film showed how she rose through the troubles being a woman and succeeded. Actor Armie Hammer played Martin in the film. The film received good reviews upon its release.
Martin died from cancer on June 27, 2010. His grave is at the ‘Arlington National Cemetery.’ He is survived by his wife, two children, and four grandchildren.