Throughout his life, Marty, who was one of the preeminent tax lawyers in the country, was a principal booster of his wife. He played a behind-the-scenes lobbying role, for example, in her eventual appointment to the Supreme Court. He was even the principal cook for his wife and children in an era when most men took a back seat on domestic duties, and no one seemed to relish Ruth's accomplishments more than Marty.
And he was always looking out for her, like that one time in the hospital when, without him there, Justice Ginsburg might have died.
"There was one day during [the] colon cancer bout when I was getting a blood transfusion, and Marty saw that something was very wrong," Ginsburg said, "and he immediately yanked the needle out of me. It turned out that there was a mismatch not in the type of blood but in some antigen. I might not have lived it if he hadn't been there."
He encouraged her to go to a physical therapist. That famous exercise regimen of hers might not have happened were it not for Marty.
"I didn't want to do it," Ginsburg said. "I was exhausted, and Marty said, 'You do it.' And he was quite insistent about that. So, to have his loving care and yet his determination that I do what was necessary to heal faster, it was hard to be alone."
When she was recovering from cancer twice before, Marty would cook for her, walk with her, read to her and make her laugh.
"Marty had a wonderful sense of humor, as you know," Ginsburg said.
Ginsburg is reminded of Marty every day, especially, she said, when the newspaper arrives.
"He was my clipping service with The New York Times and The [Washington] Post," she said. "I miss him every morning, because I have no one to go through the paper and pick out what I should read."
Now with him gone, Justice Ginsburg cherishes Marty's memory. But, to get by, she has dived into her work at the court.
"The work is really what saved me," she said, "because I had to concentrate on reading the brief doing a draft of an opinion, and I knew that had to get done. So I had to get past whatever my aches and pains were. Just do the job."