John Paul Stevens’ Children: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Justice John Paul Stevens' Children

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Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99. He died of complications of a stroke from July 15, ABC News reported. His daughters were at his side when he died, and he is survived by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Here is what you need to know about his children.


1. His Son John Joseph Stevens Died of Cancer in 1996 When He Was Only 47

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John Joseph Stevens died in 1996 of cancer. Stevens’ daughter Susan Mullen told Legal Times that her brother died of a brain tumor. John was only 47 when he died of cancer, ABA Journal reported.

In 2009, when Justice Stevens had recused himself from another Agent Orange case, ABA Journal questioned if it was because of his son’s cancer. John Joseph had served in Vietnam. When Susan was asked if John was a victim of Agent Orange, she said: “He got ill too and died too quickly for him to get involved in any legal matters.”


2. His Daughter Kathryn Stevens Jedlicka Died in 2018

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Kathryn Jedlicka, Justice Stevens’ daughter, died a year before her father in March 2018. An obituary for Kathryn reads that she was married to Edward “Jay” Jedlicka and their children were Kathyrn O’Donnell, Christine Costello, Susan Durkin, and Edward Jedlicka. She also had grandchildren when she passed away. Her mother was Elizabeth Jane, Justice Stevens’ first wife.

A friend wrote about Kathryn on her online obituary: “The Kada I remember was full of lif and joy, serenity & contentment, & she knew what she wanted when it passed her path. She was simple, kind, quiet,& had an inherent self pride & direction, that stated, life would take her where it was meant to be and she had confidence in that truth, her quiet, understated truth.” [sic]

Another friend wrote: “I’ll never forget meeting her at grandma Bakers and thinking how beautiful she was, inside and out, and how she remained so throughout her life.”


3. Elizabeth Jane Sesemann Joked That Her Dad Recommended Drinking at Lunch During a Bad Day

Elizabeth Sesemann is married to Craig Sesemann. She and her husband are listed as donating to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

In 2015, during a speech that Stevens gave at Pritzker Auditorium hosted by the Chicago Bar Association, Stevens said he didn’t remember ever advising people to drink during lunch if they were having a bad day. But Elizabeth was quick to jump in, Chicago Law Bulletin shared. She said: “What he said was, ‘Everybody has bad days — very, very bad days. And some days you may feel like a drink at lunch. I don’t recommend that, but if you feel you have to have a drink at lunch, drink vodka because it doesn’t leave a scent on your breath.” The audience laughed at her quote.



4. Susan Roberta Mullen Is an Attorney

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Susan Roberta Mullen is married to Kevin Mullen. She’s a lawyer and in 2009 was special counsel at Cooley Godward Kronish in Reston, Virginia, Legal Times reported. Susan’s mother is Justice Stevens’ first wife, Elizabeth Sheeran. (An earlier version of Heavy’s story incorrectly named Susan’s mother.)

Susan was having breakfast with Bill Mears, who was the CNN Supreme Court producer, when news broke of her father’s retirement, CNN reported. She said that he hadn’t told his family before the announcement, so she was very surprised.


5. He Has 9 Grandchildren & 13 Great-Grandchildren

Obituaries for Justice Stevens note that his daughters were by his side when he died. Sadly, although he had four children, only two of his children were still alive when he died. But he still had a large and loving family who cherished him. Justice Stevens leaves behind nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren who loved him dearly.


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