Remembering Antonin Scalia, the First Italian American Supreme Court Justice

The life and accomplishments of one of the country's greatest legal minds.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — known as “Nino” to his friends and colleagues — died in his sleep on Feb. 13, 2016 at the age of 79, while visiting Texas.

He was the first Italian American to serve on the Supreme Court.

Scalia’s father, Salvatore Eugene Scalia, was an Italian immigrant from Sicily. His mother, Catherine Panaro Scalia, was the child of Italian immigrants.

Scalia graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University as valedictorian.

He received his law degree from Harvard where he graduated magna cum laude.

Scalia began his legal career at Jones, Day in Cleveland, Ohio.

He then became a professor of law at the University of Virginia and, subsequently, a D.C. Circuit Court Judge.

Scalia was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was confirmed by the Senate unanimously on Sept. 17, 1986.

Scalia served on the Supreme Court for 30 years. During his tenure he developed a reputation as one of the most intelligent and constitutionally conservative Justices in the history of the Court.


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