As news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spread Friday, she was remembered as a champion for gender equality by the worlds of politics, business, entertainment and beyond — a spectrum of voices that included former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Barbra Streisand, Lena Waithe, Tim Cook, Meghan McCain, Jennifer Lopez and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Ginsburg, the liberal justice appointed to the high court in 1993 who more recently won pop icon status as the Notorious RBG, died Friday from complications of cancer at age 87.
Celebrities and athletes joined politicians in sharing their grief and expressing their appreciation for the soft-spoken justice.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals,” Obama wrote on Twitter, posting a link to his full tribute on Medium, where he recalled that she “helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.”
“Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me,” Clinton said on Twitter. “There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.”
Writer and director Janet Mock called Ginsburg “a feminist icon and American hero” on Twitter and thanked her for “working well beyond retirement until the very end because our country needed you.”
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids,” tweeted actress Mindy Kaling. “The kind of person who you say ‘who knows, one day you could be HER’. I hope you rest well, RBG, you must have been tired from changing the world.”
Ginsburg devoted her career to chipping away at discriminatory laws and policies, inspiring reactions like the tweet from former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams: “May we continue fight for Justice here with her passion, brilliance and extraordinary mischief. Until good is done.”
In a statement, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, said, “With an incomparable and indelible legacy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be known as a woman of brilliance, a Justice of courage, and a human of deep conviction. She has been a true inspiration to me since I was a girl. Honor her, remember her, act for her.”
A recurring impersonation by Kate McKinnon on “Saturday Night Live” helped cement Ginsburg as a part of the zeitgeist.
“For so many of us, Justice Ginsburg was a real-life superhero: a beacon of hope, a warrior for justice, a robed crusader who saved the day time and again,” said McKinnon in a statement from NBC. “Playing her on SNL was a profound joy because I could always feel the overwhelming love and gratitude that the audience had for her. It was one of the great honors of my life to meet Justice Ginsburg, to shake her hand, and to thank her for her lifetime of service to this country.”
In 2018, Ginsburg was the subject of both the documentary “RBG” and the biopic “On the Basis of Sex,” in which she was portrayed by actress Felicity Jones.
“Even had she not become a Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg earned a place in history for what she did to win equality for American women,” said “RBG” directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen in a joint statement. “When we asked her several years ago how she wanted to be remembered, she said with characteristic modesty, ‘Just as someone who did whatever she could, with whatever limited talent she had, to move society along in the direction I would like it to be for my children and grandchildren.’”
Here are more tributes to Ginsburg:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That’s how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored. My statement: https://t.co/Wa6YcT5gDi
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 19, 2020
Justice Ginsburg paved the way for so many women, including me. There will never be another like her. Thank you RBG.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 19, 2020
As a young mom heading off to Rutgers law school, I saw so few examples of female lawyers or law professors. But Ruthie blazed the trail. I’m forever grateful for her example — to me, and to millions of young women who saw her as a role model.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 19, 2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the great justices in modern American history and her passing is a tremendous loss to our country. She will be remembered as an extraordinary champion of justice and equal rights.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 19, 2020
Rest in peace Ruth Bader Ginsburg – a true legend, an iconoclast, a glass ceiling breaker, and a feminist icon. She changed the world in so many incredible ways. Prayers, love and strength to her family during this dark time. I hope you have fun with Antonin Scalia in heaven…
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) September 18, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the kind of scholar and patriot you get excited about explaining to your kids. The kind of person who you say “who knows, one day you could be HER”. I hope you rest well, RBG, you must have been tired from changing the world.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) September 19, 2020
My friends, the great “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the US Supreme Court and its most determined advocate for gender equality, has died at the age of 87. She had endured multiple bouts of cancer before succumbing to the disease.” There are no words.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) September 19, 2020
Just heard the worst news… so sad! Ruth Bader Ginsburg you will live in history forever. May you rest in peace. 😢🙏😢
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) September 19, 2020
No matter where we go from here, this is a remarkably selfless statement to make on your deathbed:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new President is installed.”
RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 19, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American hero and icon. An amazing judicial mind. A woman of extraordinary intellect and principle. May she RIP. My deepest condolences to her family. What an immeasurable loss.
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) September 19, 2020
I know this is going to immediately become a political thing so I want to take one moment to say, Justice Ginsburg was an incredible person who lived an incredible life and did so much for all of us. I hope she’s rests in peace.
— Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyn1cole) September 18, 2020
Absolutely gutted by the news that the great Ruth Bader Ginsberg has passed away at age 87. I’m sure out of respect for his time honored principle, Mitch McConnell will wait for the election before considering a replacement.
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) September 19, 2020
Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent her life in pursuit of an equal world. She fought for the unheard, and through her decisions, she changed the course of American history. We can never repay what she has given us, but we all can honor her legacy by working toward true equality, together. pic.twitter.com/lh6bioRuED
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 19, 2020
Please let’s save the politics for another day. The rank hypocrisy, outrage, and vote counting. Justice Ginsburg was a towering figure, a fighter. Time and time again she beat the odds. She wouldn’t want anyone to give up or be deterred from fighting for the dreams she embodied.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 19, 2020
RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is an immense loss. And the fate of the country should not rest on one woman’s shoulders however giant they were. I’m so sorry for her family and friends.
— roxane gay (@rgay) September 18, 2020
Our friend Pamela just told us that “According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness.” We found that very comforting. So strange to be eating these apples and honey with this sadness. pic.twitter.com/bBaWAxwjh0
— Mandy Patinkin (@PatinkinMandy) September 19, 2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led a remarkable life of consequence. She worked with passion & conviction, inspired many women, offered hope to other cancer survivors.
Prayers to her loved ones.
May She Rest In Peace.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 19, 2020
Lord, we have lost so much this year. John Lewis was a blow. Chadwick Boseman was a gut punch. Nearly 200,000 souls have gone into the ether. Losing Ruth Bader Ginsburg just fills the whole atmosphere with despair. Let’s fight it though and honor these great souls by our actions.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) September 19, 2020