Chief Justice John Roberts’ Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

john roberts family

Getty Chief Justice John Roberts pictured with his wife, Jane.

Chief Justice John Roberts presided over President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and now is administering the oath of office at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, just as he did for Trump. Here’s a look at his family background, including his parents, wife, and children.

1. His Dad Was a Steel Plant Manager


John Roberts was born in 1955 in Buffalo, New York. His dad, John Roberts Sr., was a plant manager for Bethlehem Steel, The New York Times reported. His mother, Rosemary, said that they were “always a family who was interested in things other than ourselves.”

His parents moved to Buffalo when he was in fourth grade. In 2005, his parents were living in a golf course community in Ellicott City, Maryland.

He has three sisters: Cathy, Peggy, and Barbara, The New York Times reported.

2. He Was Raised in the Catholic Faith


Roberts was raised in the Catholic faith and is still Catholic, The New York Times reported. At 13, he asked an elite Catholic Boarding School to admit him, saying, “I’ve always wanted to stay ahead of the crowd. … I want to get the best job by getting the best education,” The Atlantic reported.

Today, Roberts attends church with his family and they go to soccer games together, The Huffington Post reported in 2012. As of 2005, they were members of the Church of the Littel Flower in Bethesda, a smaller church of about 1,500 families.

3. He & His Wife Were Married in 1996


In 1996, John Roberts married his wife, Jane Sullivan, The New York Times reported. Jane’s mom was an Irish Immigrant and Jane had grown up in the Bronx. Both were dedicated to their Catholic faith. He was in his 40s when he and Jane got married, as he was so busy when he was younger that he didn’t have much time to date, according to Lisa Tucker McElroy’s biography,  John G. Roberts, Jr: Chief Justice. 

John and Jane met in 1986 when some friends rented a beach house in Delaware. They talked for hours on the beach and realized they had a lot in common. McElroy wrote that John was drawn to Jane’s sense of humor. They started dating years later, when she returned to the U.S. from a job in Australia in 1993. In 1996, the couple was married. They were both 41.

4. He & His Wife Have Two Adopted Children

When John and Jane got married, they were in their early 40s, The New York Times reported. They tried to have children but ultimately decided to adopt.

judge robert's son dancingjudge robert's son, jack, dancing during president bush's speech.2005-10-18T06:36:11.000Z

John and his wife Jane Roberts have two adopted children. In 2000, a birth mother chose them to adopt her baby, wrote Lisa Tucker McElroy in John G. Roberts Jr.: Chief Justice. On the Roberts’ flight home from Canada, another adoption agency called and offered them a second baby. They said yes. Their two children, Jack and Josie, were born just four months apart. The video above shows Jack dancing while Bush announced John’s nomination back in 2005.

5. Jane Sullivan Roberts Is an Attorney


Jane Sullivan Roberts is an attorney. In 2005, she was working at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, The New York Times reported. She and her husband are both “deeply religious…but they don’t wear it on their sleeves at all,” said friend Fred Fielding to the NYT.

Today she’s also a legal industry recruiter. In March 2019, she was chosen to help Mlegal Group move to Washington D.C., reported.

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