2/1 BHM Profile: Thurgood Marshall

Daniel Boudreau, Editor-in-Chief

Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, his father William Canfield Marshall, had a hobby of following legal cases; Thurgood would often go to the court with him to observe them. Marshall attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where he received a degree in American Literature and Philosophy. Marshall also attended Howard Law School in Washington D.C., where he graduated first in his class in 1933 and passed the Maryland bar examination the same year.

Marshall quickly began fighting for the social and legal equality of African-Americans in all walks of life; he eventually began working for the NAACP. Working with the NAACP, Marshall won countless cases in support of civil rights.  His most notable case being the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education. Later, Marshall was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961; and eventually, Marshall became the Solicitor General in 1965.

In 1967, Marshall was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to be the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court. Marshall was confirmed, and he served as an associate justice for 24 years from 1967 to his retirement in 1991. During Marshall’s tenure, he participated in over 3,400 cases and drafted 322 majority opinions. He died on January 24, 1993.