WASHINGTON (AP) — A biographer has discovered the future chief justice of the United States once proposed marriage to the woman who would become the first woman to serve on the court.

NPR’s “Morning Edition” reports author Evan Thomas found William Rehnquist’s letter to Sandra Day O’Connor while researching his upcoming book, “First.” The two dated while students at Stanford Law School in the early 1950s. They had broken up but remained friends.

Rehnquist graduated and in a March 29 letter, wrote: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” She said no.

She was dating another student, John O’Connor. They married in 1952.

O’Connor’s son Jay says he and his siblings were “surprised,” although they knew they had dated. He says they enjoyed a wonderful working relationship and friendship.

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