UNITED STATES NEWS

Sandra Day O’Connor says she has dementia, ‘probably Alzheimer’s’

Oct 23, 2018, 7:17 AM | Updated: 6:08 pm

PHOENIX — Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, said in a letter released Tuesday that she has the beginning stages of dementia and “probably Alzheimer’s disease.”

O’Connor, who was raised in Arizona and currently lives in Phoenix, said her diagnosis was made “some time ago” and that as her condition has progressed she is “no longer able to participate in public life.”

The 88-year-old called on “new leaders” to “make civic learning and civic engagement a reality for all” as she did with her non-profit iCivics.

“It is my great hope that our nation will commit to educating our youth about civics, and to helping young people understand their crucial role as informed, active citizens in our nation,” she added.

She also called on “private citizens, counties, states, and the federal government (to) work together to create and fund a nationwide civics education initiative.”

O’Connor said she would continue to live in Phoenix as she battles dementia in the final chapter of her life.

“While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings in my life,” she said.

“How fortunate I feel to be an American and to have been presented with the remarkable opportunities available to the citizens of our country.”

In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts said he was saddened by O’Connor’s news, but “not at all surprised that she used the occasion of sharing that fact to think of our country first, and to urge an increased commitment to civics education.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that “it is on all of us to carry on her legacy and to ensure her lessons remain fresh to every new generation of Americans.”

O’Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan and took her seat on the court in 1981.

She announced her retirement in 2005.

O’Connor’s announcement came a day after a story by The Associated Press that she had stepped back from public life.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

United States News

Associated Press

Malfunctioning steam room sets off alarm, prompts evacuation at Rhode Island YMCA

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) — A malfunctioning steam room at a YMCA in Rhode Island pumped out so much steam that it triggered an a sprinkler system alarm on Saturday morning, prompting an evacuation. In a statement, the Middletown Police Department said officials rushed to the Newport County YMCA in Middletown around 9 a.m. for a […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Think cicadas are weird? Check out superfans, who eat the bugs, use them in art and even striptease

FOREST PARK, Illinois (AP) — Mayumi Barrack sees a pair of mating periodical cicadas getting together, whips out her phone, says, “Hi guys!” and takes their picture. “I’m not really a bug person, but as I look more and more I feel they are adorable,” Barrack explained, noting that many other creatures — birds, squirrels, […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Police in Maine cancel shelter-in-place order after explosions and fire are reported

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine have canceled a shelter-in-place order in the city of Auburn after reporting that an armed person was in an area where a series of explosions and a house fire erupted early Saturday. The Auburn Police Department said on Facebook that the situation had been resolved and that there […]

9 hours ago

The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks. (Photo by George Frey/Getty...

Associated Press

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Couple rescued from desert near California’s Joshua Tree National Park after running out of water

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was rescued after running out of water, authorities said. On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday […]

19 hours ago

Hugo López of Al Otro Lado advocacy group hands a pamphlet to Antonio Cortes, a Mexican man who wa...

Associated Press

Some Mexican shelters see crowding south of the border as Biden’s asylum ban takes hold

Some shelters south of the U.S. border are caring for many more migrants now that the Biden administration stopped considering most asylum requests.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Sandra Day O’Connor says she has dementia, ‘probably Alzheimer’s’