09/12/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT
1. HE HAS EXHIBITED LAWYER-LIKE BEHAVIOR SINCE AN EARLY AGE
At his parochial school in Long Beach, Ind., Roberts took aim at a fellow second grader named Timmy and hurled an orange. When Timmy ducked, the fruit splattered on a wall. Called in by the principal, Roberts argued, "It wasn't my fault; it was Timmys. He ducked!"
2.ROBERTS WRITES HIS COURTROOM SPEECHES IN LONGHAND
3. HIS LUCKY NUMBER?
Roberts has three sisters, he played three sports in high school (football, wrestling and track), he finished Harvard in three years and has held three administration jobs (two in the Reagan White House, one under George H.W. Bush). The age at which he argued, and won, his first Supreme Court case: 33.
4. HIS MUSICAL TASTES VARY WIDELY
A veteran Bruce Springsteen fan, he likes opera too. But to rev up for Supreme Court appearances, John Philip Sousa was his man.
5. HE BECAME A FIRST-TIME PARENT AT 45
When their repeated attempts to conceive failed, Roberts and his wife, Jane, a lawyer, turned to adoption. More than once, their hopes were dashed as birth mothers opted instead for younger couples. In 2000 two adoption prospects panned out within five months of each other. Today their daughter Josie is 5 and son Jack is 4—and Jane, 50, has hinted they would like more.
6. ROBERTS IS A MILLIONAIRE.
Documents released to date show he's worth $5.3 million.
7. HE HAS A FLAIR FOR THE THEATRICAL
In high school Roberts volunteered to play Peppermint Patty in an all-boys production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He also enlivened a theology presentation by dressing up (in a bedsheet) as the Greek philosopher Socrates.
8. HANDY FACT: ROBERTS IS AMBIDEXTROUS
9. HE MET HIS WIFE AT THE BEACH
It was the summer of '92, and their two law firms shared a rented house in Dewey Beach, Del. They wed four years later.
10. HE HAS ARGUED 39 CASES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT—more than any of the current justices.