Thurgood Marshall

Media Items
Personal Information
Thursday, July 2, 1908
Sunday, January 24, 1993
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
William Marshall
Father's Occupation 
Club steward
Norma Williams
Family Status 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Johnson, L.
Commissioned on 
Wednesday, August 30, 1967
Sworn In 
Monday, October 2, 1967
Left Office 
Tuesday, October 1, 1991
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
23 years, 11 months, 30 days
New York
Thurgood Marshall
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Simmie L. Knox)

Thurgood Marshall was born and raised in Baltimore. He attended Lincoln University and studied law at Howard University. Shortly after graduation from law school, Marshall became associated with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and later became the head of the organization's Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Marshall was a key strategist in the legal effort to dismantle racial segregation in housing, voting, and education. He was chief counsel in the historic cases known as Brown v. Board of Education.

President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Four years later, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him as solicitor general. Johnson turned to Marshall in 1967 to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Marshall was the first black to serve on the Court. He was an unrepentant liberal whose commitment to equality only expanded during his years of service. He remained true to the values of freedom and equality despite the erosion of the liberal majority that he helped sustain when he was first appointed. In one of his last opinions (Dissenting from a conservative majority), Marshall declared that "[p]ower, not reason, is the new currency of this Court's decision making." He retired in 1991 when his health deteriorated. Marshall died of heart failure in January 1993.

Clerk Law Schoolsort icon Terms Clerked
Michael Davis Harvard (1989) 1990
Dan M. Kahan Harvard (1989) 1990
Crystal Nix (Hines) Harvard (1990) 1991
Susan Low Bloch Michigan (1975) 1976
Philip P. Frickey Michigan (1978) 1979
Kenneth W. Simons Michigan (1978) 1981
Stephen A. Saltzburg Penn (1970) 1971
Kevin T. Baine Penn (1974) 1975
Gay Gellhorn Seattle (1982) 1983
Walter A. Kamiat Stanford (1983) 1984
Gregory M. Priest Stanford (1988) 1989
William C. Bryson Texas (1973) 1974
Sondra E. Berchin UCLA (1977) 1977
Virginia Whitner (Hoptman) Virginia (1980) 1981
H. Elizabeth Garrett Virginia (1988) 1989

Which player's contribution to baseball best matches Thurgood Marshall's contribution to law?

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Cite this Page
Thurgood Marshall. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 28 March 2015. <>.
Thurgood Marshall, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited March 28, 2015).
"Thurgood Marshall," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed March 28, 2015,