Updated Feb. 14, 10:55 a.m.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on a Texas ranch on Saturday at the age of 79, was a proud child of Queens.
Scalia was born in Trenton, N.J., but the family later relocated to Elmhurst. The graduate of P.S. 13 would go on to serve on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years as one of its most conservative members.
Though he practiced law elsewhere throughout the country during his career, Scalia held an affinity for his childhood home. In a 2013 first-person article for New York Magazine, he remembered playing in the P.S. 13 schoolyard and in the street, sledding in a local cemetery, camping out in vacant lots and having a crush on a schoolgirl.
“It was a wonderful place. You had the subway; the world was your oyster. There was just enough responsibility that was put on young people that any New Yorker would acquire a certain cockiness,” he wrote.
After graduating from P.S. 13, Scalia went to Xavier High School in Manhattan, then Georgetown University, where he graduated in 1957. He would go on to receive his judicial degree from Harvard Law School, where he would meet the woman who would become his wife, Maureen McCarthy.
Scalia spent the first decade of his legal career in private practice. He entered government in 1972, when President Richard Nixon appointed him general counsel to the Office of Telecommunications Policy. He would later be named assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Council.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Scalia a seat on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Four years later, Reagan nominated Scalia as an associate justice to the Supreme Court; he would be unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
At the time of his death, Scalia was the longest-serving Supreme Court justice on the bench. During his tenure, he was known for his staunch conservative beliefs and quick wit in drafting majority and minority opinions on cases that came before the court.
Scalia is survived by his wife, nine children and 28 grandchildren.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all flags across New York City will fly at half-mast through Feb. 22 in Scalia’s memory.
“We mourn tonight for the loss of Justice Antonin Scalia,” de Blasio said in a statement Saturday night. “He was a proud New Yorker, and New Yorkers were proud to have one of their own serve as Supreme Court Justice. The first lady and I send our thoughts and prayers to his wife, children and other family members.”