Obama posted a photo of the two at the White House on his social media, along with a brief note before his powerful statement.
"Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That’s how we remember her," Obama wrote. "But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored."
Obama's tribute then began by mentioning how 60 years ago Ginsburg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk and -- even after studying at the finest law schools and having "ringing recommendations" -- was rejected because she was a woman.
"Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court -- which led it to strike down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time," Obama acknowledged. "And then, for nearly three decades, as the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality -- someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American."
Calling her a "relentless litigator and an incisive jurist," Obama stated that she "helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be."
This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.
If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.
'On the Basis of Sex' Trailer: Felicity Jones Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg
"Justice Ginsburg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land," he continued. "Michelle and I admired her greatly, we’re profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and our condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight."
Touching on Ginsburg's final wish of not being replaced until a new president is installed, Obama wrote, "Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in."
"A basic principle of the law -- and of everyday fairness -- is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment," he noted.
Obama is just one of many celebrities and politicians who have mourned her death and celebrated her contributions to the U.S.
Ginsburg was only the second woman ever confirmed to the Supreme Court, of four total, and a pioneer of women's rights and gender equality, long before her scorching dissents launched her into pop culture icon-dom as the Notorious R.B.G.
For more on her life and legacy, watch the video above.