U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall


Thurgood Marshall was born July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland and died January 24, 1993. He was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court where he served from October 1967 to October 1991. The 96th justice, Marshall was the first U.S. Supreme Court justice of African descent in the United States. 

Marshall was the great-grandson of a man born in the region now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo but brought to the United States as a slave, according Stewart A. Kallen in his autobiography "Thurgood Marshall: A Dream of Justice for All". Marshall's grandfather was also born into slavery in the United States. His father, William Canfield Marshall, was the first freeman of his family and became a Pullman railroad porter. His mother, Norma Arica, was a teacher. 

"Before his appointment to serve on the Supreme Court, he represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other American," according to The New World Encyclopedia. Before moving into the judiciary, Marshall was an active civil rights trial attorney, trained in law by the civil rights lawyer Charles Hamilton Houston, who was his law professor and professional mentor. 

Marshall's law practice included appointment as in-house legal counsel to the NAACP. As a trial attorney, Marshall may be best known for his victory in the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which successfully challenged the racialist separate but equal doctrine in American society, a doctrine that was then enforced by the laws of the land. 


1930

1933
A Brief Thurgood Marshall Timeline

Mr. Marshall graduates with honors from Lincoln University, cum laude

Receives law degree from Howard U. (magna cum laude); begins private practice in Baltimore
1934
Begins to work for Baltimore branch of NAACP

1935With Charles Houston, wins first major civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson

1936

Becomes assistant special counsel for NAACP in New York

1940

Wins first of 29 Supreme Court victories (Chambers v. Florida)

1944

Successfully argues Smith v. Allwright, overthrowing the South's "white primary"
1948
Wins Shelley v. Kraemer, in which Supreme Court strikes down legality of racially restrictive covenants
1950
Wins Supreme Court victories in two graduate-school integration cases, Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents
1951
Visits South Korea and Japan to investigate charges of racism in U.S. armed forces. He reported that the general practice was one of "rigid segregation".
1954
Wins Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, landmark case that demolishes legal basis for segregation in America
1961
Defends civil rights demonstrators, winning Supreme Circuit Court victory in Garner v. Louisiana; nominated to Second Court of Appeals by President J.F. Kennedy
1961
Appointed circuit judge, makes 112 rulings, all of them later upheld by Supreme Court (1961-1965)
1965
Appointed U.S. solicitor general by President Lyndon Johnson; wins 14 of the 19 cases he argues for the government (1965-1967)

1967

Becomes first African American elevated to U.S. Supreme Court (1967-1991)

1991

Retires from the Supreme Court
1993Dies at 84

MIKE WALLACE NIGHT BEAT with THURGOOD MARSHALL

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