Ruth Bader Ginsburg

SF Man With Personal Connection Remembers RBG

NBC Universal, Inc.

As people across the nation remember the impact Ruth Bader Ginsburg had on the fight for gender equality, one Bay Area man has a personal story.

Jim Wallace of San Francisco said in 1972 his high school math teacher Paula Weisenfeld died during childbirth, but her husband was not entitled to any social security benefits because he was not a widow. At the time, only women who lost a spouse were eligible.

Ginsburg took the landmark case and won.

“She sued all the way to the Supreme court and she won,” Wallace said. “So, the husband was able to collect full Social Security benefits just as a woman would in the same circumstances.”

Ginsburg also argued that Paula’s contributions to Social Security were not treated on an equal basis to a man’s salary, so she, not just her husband, was discriminated against.

It was just one case of several where Ginsburg proved to be a pioneer in the fight for gender equality.

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