Judith Ann Smith was born on April 4th, 1938 in Monticello, New York. She graduated high school at the age of 15, having skipped two grades. In 1962, Judith graduated from New York University Law School - one of only 10 women in a class of 300. She worked for a number of years as a lawyer and part-time assistant to the dean at New York University Law School, all while raising a family. In 1983, she became the first woman appointed to the Court of Appeals. In 1993 she became chief judge, and in 2008 she at the age of 70 she retired as the longest serving chief judge in New York's history. She is considered to have had a major impact in terms of the modernization of the New York law system. Judith passed away from cancer on January 7th, 2016 at the age of 77. She had 3 children.