Stevens served on America's top court from 1975 through 2010. His 35-year term as a US Supreme Court Justice marked the third-longest in history, ABC News reported. Stevens stepped away from the Supreme Court in 2010 at the age of 90 and was replaced by Obama-era appointee Elena Kagan.
According to US-based media reports, Stevens died at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, of complications from a stroke he suffered on Monday.
Stevens was born in the South Side of Chicago in 1920 and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1941, and Northwestern Law School in 1947. In interviews, he shied away from questions concerning his legacy and always maintained that his ideology had not shifted during his years on the court, CNN reported.
Notably, Stevens became an outspoken critic of then-President George W Bush’s efforts to create a legal black hole at the notorious Guantanamo prison, the Huff Post reported. The Bush-era administration reportedly argued that enemy combatants held at the off-shore prison were not entitled access to US courts because they were not US citizens and they were not being held on American soil.
Stevens led court effort to provide legal protections to prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.