Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman confirmed to the Court, announced in a letter on Tuesday that she is experiencing the "beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer's," and is "no longer able to participate in public 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. How fortunate I feel to be an American and to have been presented with the remarkable opportunities available to the citizens of our country. As a young cowgirl from the Arizona desert, I never could have imagined that one day I would become the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court."— O'Connor