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Nov 11, 2009 12:41 PM by Associated Press

Husband of retired Justice O'Connor dies

John J. O'Connor III, the husband of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, has died.

The court said the 79-year-old O'Connor died Wednesday in Phoenix, Ariz., of complications arising from Alzheimer's disease.

John O'Connor, himself a lawyer, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly two decades ago. His condition deteriorated markedly in mid-decade and when she announced her retirement in 2005, the justice cited the need to care her husband.

The O'Connors were married in 1952 and became a leading couple on Washington's social scene when they moved from Arizona in 1981 following her confirmation as the first woman on the Supreme Court.

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