Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was married twice. His second and last wife was Maryan Mulholland Simon. Maryan preceded him in death.
Stevens, who served on the nation’s highest court from 1975 to 2010, has died at the age of 99, it was announced on July 16, 2019. According to USA Today, John Paul Stevens held the honor of being “the second oldest and third longest-serving Supreme Court justice in history.” He was a leader of the liberal faction on the highest court, even though he had been nominated by a Republican president.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. John Paul Stevens’ Wife Died After a More Than Three Decade Long Marriage
According to her obituary, Maryan Mulholland Simon died before John Paul Stevens at the age of 84. She died in 2015.
Theirs was a long-term marriage lasting more than three decades. They were married from December 1979 to August 7, 2015, according to CNN.
Stevens and his second wife had each been married before. She died in a hospital after complications from hip surgery.
2. Stevens Said His Second Wife’s Dietary Advice Is Why He Lived So Long
Maryan Simon was a dietician. That, Stevens once said, is why he thinks he lived so long.
“The most important key to my survival,” he said in 2011, according to his obit, “is the advice I’d give to everybody in the room: Marry a beautiful dietitian.”
According to the Sacramento Bee, in retirement, Stevens enjoyed writing and speaking and was “still fit for swimming and tennis in Fort Lauderdale,” where he had lived with Maryan when not in Washington.
3. Stevens’ Wife Was a Mother & Grandmother & She Raised a Blended Family With the Supreme Court Justice
Maryan Simon was born in Chicago and graduated from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. The Chicago Tribune described how Stevens would compliment her beauty.
With Stevens, she formed a blended family. According to Cornell University, John Paul Stevens had these children: John Joseph, Kathryn Stevens Jedlicka, Elizabeth Jane and Susan Roberta. The Bee reports that two of Stevens’ children died before him.
Maryan had five children and three stepchildren, as well as grandchildren, step grandchildren, and step great grandchildren, according to CNN.
4. John Paul Stevens’ First Wife Was Named Elizabeth Sheeran
Stevens was married once before, to Elizabeth Sheeran. According to CNN, they were married from June 7, 1942 to 1979, when they divorced. Elizabeth also preceded Stevens in death, according to Bee.
Oyez.org reports that Stevens attended the University of Chicago, and then “became a member of the same fraternity as his father, Phi Beta Kappa.”
In that era, the site reports, he also married Elizabeth Sheeran, “with whom he had a son and three daughters.” Then, he served in the U.S. Navy before embarking on a legal career.
Oyez describes how Stevens had weathered family tragedy growing up when his father, uncle and grandfather were indicted for embezzlement. His grandpa suffered a stroke and his uncle committed suicide as a result.
He divorced Elizabeth in 1979.
5. Stevens Died With His Daughters at His Side
According to ABC News, although Stevens’ wives died before him, his daughters were at his side when he passed away. The Bee reports that Elizabeth and Susan were the daughters with him when he died.
The retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, passed away on July 16, 2019 at Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, “of complications following a stroke he suffered on July 15,” ABC News reported.
“He passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side. He was 99 years old,” ABC News reported the Supreme Court confirmed.