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My Beloved World

The memoir by the first Latina ever to serve on the US Supreme Court

By Sonia Sotomayor
13-minute read
Audio available
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

My Beloved World (2013) is the memoir of Sonia Sotomayor, the third woman, and first Latina ever, to serve on the US Supreme Court. From her childhood hardships and her unlikely path to Princeton and Yale Law School to her first appointment as a judge, Sotomayor’s story is one of resilience, friendship and lifelong learning.

  • Law students interested in one woman’s road to the supreme court
  • Law professionals who want to know more about one of the supreme court justices
  • Anyone who likes reading about real-life examples of the American dream

Sonia Sotomayor is a US Supreme Court Justice. She is the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the Court. After growing up in New York City’s housing projects to non-English speaking Puerto Rican parents, she earned scholarships to Princeton and Yale Law School and eventually fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a judge.

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My Beloved World

By Sonia Sotomayor
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
Synopsis

My Beloved World (2013) is the memoir of Sonia Sotomayor, the third woman, and first Latina ever, to serve on the US Supreme Court. From her childhood hardships and her unlikely path to Princeton and Yale Law School to her first appointment as a judge, Sotomayor’s story is one of resilience, friendship and lifelong learning.

Key idea 1 of 8

For a Justice of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor’s childhood was far from typical.

Sonia Sotomayor was born into a Puerto Rican community in the troubled housing projects in the Bronx, New York in 1954. There, she lived within walking distance from a huge extended family of cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, many of whom barely spoke English.

Sotomayor’s family certainly didn’t have it easy. Her father’s alcoholism pushed her mother away from home. To avoid being there at the same time as her husband, which always resulted in heated arguments, Sotomayor’s mother spent her nights and weekends working as a nurse in a hospital.

The young Sonia, recognizing that her father was facing a struggle that was out of his control, still cared for him. Their trips to the grocery store – when her father taught her how to choose the best meat and the juiciest fruits, and would even give her a penny to buy herself candy – were always the highlight of her week.

Unfortunately, when she was seven, Sotomayor was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. This presented yet another challenge to the young girl, as neither her alcoholic father nor her anxious mother had steady enough hands to give Sotomayor the insulin shots she needed daily.

So she taught herself how to administer the shots by practicing on an orange. This experience gave her a powerful feeling of self-reliance: she knew then that she could count on herself to survive. The traits of discipline, perseverance and independence that Sotomayor had acquired through her early childhood experiences were strengths that drove her academic success during her school years.

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