Historical Persona Project

Sonia Sotomayor

I: Research Questionnaire

When did you live? I was born on June 25, 1954.

Where did you live? I was born in Bronx, New York.

What ethnicity / nationality are you? I am Hispanic.

How did your family influence your life? I have a younger sibling. My mom was a nurse and my dad was a tool and die worker. He died when I was only nine.

What was your occupation, and how did you contribute to it with your work? I am a supreme Court Judge I was an assistant district attorney.

What type of education do you have? I went to New York University, Yale Law School, Columbia Law School, Cardinal Spellman High School, and Princeton University.

What will people remember you for? I will be remembered for as a hero.

Why did the student writing about you pick you for their project? I pick you because you are a female too and I can connect.

What were some key events happening in society during your lifetime? I was the first hispanic supreme court judge.

What else should we know about you? When I joined the court I was the youngest judge.


Article in Achieve and Biography.com

II: Creative Artifact

III: Creative Writing

Talk Show Interview

Tiger the Talk Show Host: How long have you been on the Supreme Court?

Sonia Sotomayor: I have been on the Supreme Court for 5 years. I was confirmed in August of 2009.

Tiger the Talk Show Host: What motivated you to become a judge?

Sonia Sotomayor: When I was younger I watched an episode of the TV show called "Perry Mason" and that started me wanting to be a judge. After a prosecutor on the program said he did not mind losing when a defendant turned out to be innocent, Sotomayor said she "made the quantum leap: If that was the prosecutor's job, then the guy who made the decision to dismiss the case was the judge. That was what I was going to be."

Tiger the Talk Show Host: How much schooling did you have to do to become a judge?

Sonia Sotomayor: I received my Juris Doctor in 1979 and passed the bar in 1980. I graduated from Princeton in 1976 and I also went to Yale Law School. So all together it took me 7 years of schooling to become a judge. I was also awarded the Pyne Prize, which is the highest academic award given to Princeton undergraduates.

Tiger the Talk Show Host: Why did you want to help people?

Sonia Sotomayor: My mom was a nurse so that gave me the drive to also want to help people.

Tiger the Talk Show Host: How did your mother influence your desire to do to school?

Sonia Sotomayor: After my father's death, my mother worked hard to raise me and my brother as a single parent. She place an "almost fanatical emphasis" on a higher education, pushing us to become fluent in English and struggling to afford a set of encyclopedias to give us proper research materials for school.

Tiger the Talk Show Host: What was your desire to go to school?

Sonia Sotomayor: I was diagnosed with diabetes the year before and I had to learn to give myself the insulin shots. My parents incapability of administering the shots was one driving force behind my desire to learn.

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