On March 26, 1930 Sandra Day was born in El Paso, Texas to Harry and Ada Day. The family owned a ranch in Arizona, which her grandfather Henry Day established in the 1880's. When Sandra was a child she rode horses, helped with the cattle, and did many things boys did. Her parents sent her to El Paso when she was five to live with her grandmother and to attend Radford School, a private school for girls. She returned to the ranch when she was thirteen. The nearest school was twenty-two miles away, so she traveled leaving before daylight and returning in the dark. The next year she was back at Radford. After a year, she switched to Austin High School, where she graduated at the age of sixteen.
Sandra prepared herself for success at Stanford University. There she majored in economics. In 1950 she earned a B.A. degree with honors and went to law school.
She was ranked third out of the 102 students in her class. One of her fellow editors and the top-ranking students in the class below hers was John Jay O'Connor, who she would marry soon after graduation in 1952.
During the early years of her marriage, Sandra had her career and the demands of family life. During her husband's last year of law school, she tried to get a job with a law firm in California, but she was unsuccessful because of the reluctance of many firms to hire a female attorney. She worked for the first year of her marriage as a deputy attorney for San Mateo County. The O'Connor's then moved to Phoenix. Because its size and growth rate, there were many offered opportunities to newcomers. This is where Sandra had her first son Scott in 1957. She had two other...