Sonia Sotomayor Biography: Age, Education, Career, Salary, Awards, Husband, Family, Net Worth

Sonia Sotomayor Biography

Sonia Sotomayor Biography

Sonia Sotomayor is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial body in the country. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 and became the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Sonia was born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents and grew up in a housing project in the Bronx. She graduated from Princeton University and Yale Law School and worked as a prosecutor, a private lawyer, and a federal judge before joining the Supreme Court.

In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about Sonia Sotomayor, her age, early life, parents, career, husband, net worth and more.

Sonia Sotomayor Age

Sonia Sotomayor is 70 years old as of 2024.

Sonia Sotomayor Early Life, Parents and Education

Sonia Sotomayor was born on 25th June, 1954, in The Bronx, New York City, to Juan Sotomayor and Celina Báez. Her parents were immigrants from Puerto Rico who moved to the mainland separately and met during World War II. Her father, who had a third-grade education and did not speak English, worked as a tool and die worker. Her mother, who served in the Women’s Army Corps, worked as a telephone operator and later as a nurse. Sotomayor grew up in a housing project in the South Bronx, where she faced poverty, crime, and discrimination.


Sonia’s father died when she was nine years old, leaving her mother to raise her and her younger brother, Juan, who became a physician and a university professor.

Sonia attended Cardinal Spellman High School, a Catholic school in the Bronx, where she graduated as the valedictorian of her class in 1972. She then received a full scholarship to attend Princeton University, one of the most prestigious and selective colleges in the country. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1976, with a major in history and a certificate in Latin American studies. She also received the Pyne Prize, the highest honor for an undergraduate at Princeton.

Sonia continued her education at Yale Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 1979. She was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, a prestigious student-run publication that features legal scholarship and commentary. She also participated in moot court competitions, where she honed her skills in oral argument and legal reasoning.

Sonia also served as a co-chair of the Latino Law Students Association, a group that promotes the academic and professional development of Latino law students. She graduated from Yale Law School as one of the most distinguished and accomplished students in her class.

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Sonia Sotomayor Career

Sonia Sotomayor Biography

Sonia Sotomayor began her legal career as an assistant district attorney in New York County (Manhattan) from 1979 to 1984.

Sonia left the district attorney’s office in 1984 and joined a private law firm, Pavia & Harcourt, where she worked until 1992. She specialized in intellectual property and copyright cases, representing clients such as Ferrari, Fendi, and Coca-Cola. She also handled international litigation, arbitration, and mediation.

She became a partner of the firm in 1988 and served on its management committee. She also served on the boards of directors of several public and nonprofit organizations, such as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Sonia’s judicial career began in 1992, when President George H.W. Bush nominated her to be a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was confirmed by the Senate in 1992 and became the youngest judge in the district and the first Hispanic federal judge in New York. She presided over more than 450 cases, involving civil and criminal matters, such as contract disputes, employment discrimination, constitutional claims, and drug trafficking. She issued several notable rulings, such as granting an injunction that ended a major league baseball strike in 1995, upholding the constitutionality of the line-item veto in 1996, and dismissing a lawsuit against former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos in 1998.


In 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Sonia to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which covers New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. She was confirmed by the Senate in 1998 and became the first Hispanic judge on the circuit and the second Latina judge in the country. She heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and wrote about 380 opinions, covering a wide range of legal topics, such as constitutional law, administrative law, antitrust law, civil rights law, and criminal law. She also participated in several en banc hearings, where all the judges of the circuit sit together to decide important or complex cases. She wrote some influential opinions, such as ruling that the government could not detain indefinitely a U.S. citizen suspected of terrorism in 2003, upholding the rights of prisoners to challenge their conditions of confinement in 2004, and affirming the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education in 2008.

In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sonia to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, following the retirement of Justice David Souter. She was confirmed by the Senate in 2009 and became the 111th justice and the fourth woman to serve on the court. She also joined Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the current court and Justice Clarence Thomas as the second person of color on the current court. She took the judicial oath on August 8, 2009, and assumed her seat on the bench.

On the Supreme Court, Sonia has been a consistent member of the liberal wing, often siding with Justices Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. She has also been an active and vocal participant in oral arguments, asking many questions and making many comments. She has written more than 100 opinions, both for the majority and in dissent, on cases involving a variety of legal issues, such as civil rights, criminal justice, immigration, health care, and campaign finance. She has also been outspoken on issues affecting the judiciary, such as diversity, access to justice, and judicial independence.

Sonia Sotomayor Books

Sonia Sotomayor has written and published four books, as follows:

  • My Beloved World (2013): A memoir that recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.
  • Turning Pages: My Life Story (2018): A children’s book that tells the story of how books inspired and influenced her throughout her life, from her childhood in the Bronx to her career as a Supreme Court justice.
  • Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You (2019): A children’s book that celebrates diversity and inclusion by introducing 12 kids with different abilities and backgrounds who work together to create a garden.
  • Just Help!: How to Build a Better World (2022): A children’s book that encourages young readers to make a positive difference in their communities and the world by showing them examples of helpers, such as doctors, teachers, firefighters, and activists.

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Sonia Sotomayor Husband and Children

Sonia Sotomayor does not have any children. She was married to Kevin Edward Noonan, a biologist, from 1976 to 1983, but they divorced amicably and did not have any offspring.

Sonia Sotomayor Net Worth and Income

Sonia Sotomayor’s net worth is estimated to be around $6 million as of 2024. She earns a salary of $200,000 as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She also makes money from her books, which have sold millions of copies and earned her royalties and advances.

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