Rehnquist once proposed to O’Connor, biographer says

REHNQUIST
FILE – In this May 8, 2001 file photo, Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist addresses a meeting of the Federal Justices Association in Arlington, Va. NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports author Evan Thomas found 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. Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” She said no. (AP Photo/Hillery Smith Garrison, File) (AP/HILLERY SMITH GARRISON)
O'CONNOR
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 ) (AP/HARRY CABLUCK)
Barack Obama, Sandra Day O'Connor
FILE – In this Aug. 12, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama presents the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor, the first woman on the Supreme Court, announced Tuesday that she has the beginning stages of dementia, “probably Alzheimer’s disease.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rehnquist
FILE – In this July 12, 2005, file photo, Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist departs his home in Arlington, Va., just as President Bush was meeting with Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee about candidates for filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Justice Antonin Scalia’s death Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, at the age of 79 marks only the second time in more than 60 years that an active justice has died. Rehnquist, who had thyroid cancer, died in office at age 80 in 2005. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (AP)
WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 14: Associate Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor attends a ceremony where she formally swore in Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General at the Justice Department, February 14, 2005 in Washington, DC. Gonzales replaced former Attorney General John Ashcroft.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – FEBRUARY 14: Associate Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor attends a ceremony where she formally swore in Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General at the Justice Department, February 14, 2005 in Washington, DC. Gonzales replaced former Attorney General John Ashcroft. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
On this date in 2005, U.S. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died in Arlington, Virginia, at age 80, after more than three decades on the Supreme Court. ( AP Photo / file  )
On this date in 2005, U.S. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died in Arlington, Virginia, at age 80, after more than three decades on the Supreme Court. ( AP Photo / file ) (AP)
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REHNQUIST
O'CONNOR
Barack Obama, Sandra Day O'Connor
Rehnquist
WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 14: Associate Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor attends a ceremony where she formally swore in Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General at the Justice Department, February 14, 2005 in Washington, DC. Gonzales replaced former Attorney General John Ashcroft.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
On this date in 2005, U.S. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died in Arlington, Virginia, at age 80, after more than three decades on the Supreme Court. ( AP Photo / 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.

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.

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