In the age of online dating and swiping (hello JSwipe), tear-jerking love stories a la “Casablanca” are hard to come by. But there’s still one that absolutely breaks out hearts in all its sweet glory: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband Marty’s love story.
We often don’t think of RBG as being the star in a love story, considering she’s known for being a badass (and busy being the first Jewish female justice), but recently more of her personal life has been captured in “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
According to Jezebel, Marty was known for praising RGB’s work ethic, stating, “She works like fury all the time. The country’s better off as it is.” Former clerk Kate Andrias had nothing but praise for Marty, saying, “I was always in awe of her, but there was something disarming about seeing her with a partner who adores her but also treats her like a human being.” RBG was even noted as saying Marty was “always my best friend.”
Together, they supported each other through various bouts of cancer (his first came in law school) for the nearly 60 years of their union. When he was diagnosed with metastatic cancer in 2010, their daughter, Jane, fondly remembers how he would cook for RGB even when he couldn’t eat himself:
“If my first memories are of Daddy cooking. So are my last. Cooking for Mother even when he could not himself eat, nor stand in the kitchen without pain, because for him it was ever a joy to discuss the law over dinner with Mother while ensuring that she ate well and with pleasure.”
But what’s really going to tear your heart out of your chest is Marty’s last letter to RGB before he died within a week of their anniversary, the death of her own mother, and the end of the Supreme Court term:
My dearest Ruth—
You are the only person I have loved in my life, setting aside, a bit, parents and kids and their kids, and I have admired and loved you almost since the day we first met at Cornell some 56 years ago. What a treat it has been to watch you progress to the very top of the legal world!!
I will be in JH Medical Center until Friday, June 25, I believe, and between then and now I shall think hard on my remaining health and life, and whether on balance the time has come for me to tough it out or to take leave of life because the loss of quality now simply overwhelms. I hope you will support where I come out, but I understand you may not. I will not love you a jot less.
Because the court was sitting the day after his death, and Ginsberg had never missed a day yet, she showed up to court dressed with a dark ribbon in her hair in RBG fashion. The deep love and intimacy shared between them is absolutely beautiful; we hope everyone can experience this type of love in their lifetime.
This is definitely a story we’ll be thinking about for a long time.