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Rehnquist once proposed to O’Connor, biographer says

October 31, 2018 GMT

              FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2003 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is shown before administering the oath of office to members of the Texas Supreme Court in Austin, Texas.  NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports author Evan Thomas found former Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist's letter to O’Connor while researching his upcoming book, “First.” The two dated while students at Stanford Law School in the early 1950s. They had broken up, but remained friends. Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: "To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?" She said no. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck, File )
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FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2003 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is shown before administering the oath of office to members of the Texas Supreme Court in Austin, Texas. NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports author Evan Thomas found former Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist's letter to O’Connor while researching his upcoming book, “First.” The two dated while students at Stanford Law School in the early 1950s. They had broken up, but remained friends. Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: "To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?" She said no. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck, File )
1 of 2
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2003 file photo, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is shown before administering the oath of office to members of the Texas Supreme Court in Austin, Texas. NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports author Evan Thomas found former Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist's letter to O’Connor while researching his upcoming book, “First.” The two dated while students at Stanford Law School in the early 1950s. They had broken up, but remained friends. Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: "To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?" She said no. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck, File )

WASHINGTON (AP) — A biographer has discovered the future chief justice of the United States once proposed marriage to the woman who would become the first woman to serve on the court.

NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports author Evan Thomas found William Rehnquist’s letter to Sandra Day O’Connor while researching his upcoming book, “First.” The two dated while students at Stanford Law School in the early 1950s. They had broken up but remained friends.

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Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” She said no.

She was dating another student, John O’Connor. They married in 1952.

O’Connor’s son Jay says he and his siblings were “surprised,” although they knew they had dated. He says they enjoyed a wonderful working relationship and friendship.