President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court was drawn to the law by a popular TV show

By Brian Orloff
Updated May 26, 2009 05:55 PM
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Credit: Matthew Cavanaugh/EPA

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate this summer, Sonia Sotomayor would be become the first Hispanic to sit on the United State Supreme Court, and only the third woman to hold that post. Nominated by President Obama to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, Sotomayor, 54, is divorced, has no children and hails from New York City. Here are five other facts you may not know about her:

1. She Grew up in a Housing Project
Born in New York of Puerto Rican descent, Sotomayor was raised in a housing project in the South Bronx. Her father, a factory worker, died when she was a child. Sotomayor and her brother, a doctor, were raised by their mother, a nurse at a methadone clinic, the New York Times reports.

2. She Has Diabetes
Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 8, one year before her father passed away.

3. Perry Mason Was an Inspiration
Sotomayor went to Princeton on a scholarship, earning a degree in 1976, before continuing on at Yale Law School, where she was editor of the Yale Law Journal. According to the New York Times, her interest in law stemmed from watching the show Perry Mason as a girl.

4. She Has Fashion Cred
After a stint as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Sotomayor worked in a commercial private practice. Among her high-class clients? Fendi and Ferrari.

5. She Has Friends in Both Parties
Sotomayor owes her first job as a federal judge to George H.W. Bush, who named her to the U.S. District Court, representing the Southern district of New York, in 1992. Then, in 1998, Bill Clinton promoted her, appointing Sotomayor to her current position on 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.