Antonin Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey on March 11, 1936, the only child of a schoolteacher and college professor. He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School. In 1960 he married Maureen McCarthy, with whom he had nine children. He worked in private practice, taught in law schools, served in the Justice Department, and sat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 1986, President Reagan appointed him to the Supreme Court of the United States, where he served until his death on February 13, 2016.
Justice Scalia believed that faith must play an important role in American life and should have a strong voice in the public square. He spoke openly about his own Catholicism and frequently urged others to bear witness to their religious belief: “Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity,” he said. “Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” As a symbol of this strong belief in the important role of faith in public life, his official Court portrait includes an image of St. Thomas More in the background. His example played a significant role in bringing friends and colleagues to the Catholic Church, and upon his death, many people across the nation expressed their gratitude for his witness.