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History Professor Receives Personal Note from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Dec 10, 2009

The Fight to Survive

In mid-November, History professor and chair, Dr. Caroline Cox, had mailed a copy of her new book, The Fight to Survive: A Young Girl, Diabetes, and the Discovery of Insulin, to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has type 1 diabetes.

She never expected a response, so Dr. Cox was surprised and delighted to open her mail and find a personal note of thanks from Justice Sotomayor earlier this week.

Dr. Cox had sent the book not only for its connection to diabetes, but also because of its indirect association to the U.S. Supreme Court. The protagonist of the book and one of the first recipients of insulin is Elizabeth Hughes, the youngest daughter of Charles Evans Hughes. In addition to having been a Governor of New York and Secretary of State early in the twentieth century, Charles Evans Hughes later served as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for more than a decade. After his death, Elizabeth Hughes became a founder of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

In her letter to Justice Sotomayor accompanying the book, Dr. Cox stated that she thought Elizabeth's story was worth telling—and not just because of her famous family or a great discovery: "She was someone that I felt many people would like to know."