Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor says she has beginning stages of dementia and 'probably Alzheimer's disease'

Sandra Day O'Connor says she has beginning stages of dementia and 'probably Alzheimer's disease'

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, announced Tuesday in a frank and personal letter that she has been diagnosed with "the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's disease."

The 88-year-old's letter was addressed to "Friends and fellow Americans." And it was a farewell of sorts from a woman who was not only a trailblazer for women in the law but also for much of her quarter century on the high court a key vote on issues central to American life.

O'Connor said doctors diagnosed her some time ago and that as her condition has progressed she is "no longer able to participate in public life." After her 2006...

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