Thurgood Marshall

Media Items
Personal Information
Born 
Thursday, July 2, 1908
Died 
Sunday, January 24, 1993
Childhood Location 
Maryland
Childhood Surroundings 
Maryland
Religion 
Episcopalian
Ethnicity 
African
Father 
William Marshall
Father's Occupation 
Club steward
Mother 
Norma Williams
Family Status 
Lower-middle
Position 
Associate Justice
Seat 
11
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 
Retired
Length of Service 
23 years, 11 months, 30 days
Home 
New York
Thurgood Marshall
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: Simmie L. Knox)
Biography 

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.

Clerkships 
Clerk Law Schoolsort icon Terms Clerked
Scott Brewer Yale (1989) 1990
Eben Moglen Yale (1985) 1986
Paul G. Mahoney Yale (1984) 1985
Daniel C. Richman Yale (1984) 1985
Richard L. Revesz Yale (1983) 1984
Randall L. Kennedy Yale (1982) 1983
Stephen L. Carter Yale (1979) 1980
Martha L. Minow Yale (1979) 1980
Deborah L. Rhode Yale (1977) 1978
Robert N. Weiner Yale (1977) 1978
Mark V. Tushnet Yale (1971) 1972
Paul D. Gewirtz Yale (1970) 1971
Thomas C. Grey Yale (1968) 1969
H. Elizabeth Garrett Virginia (1988) 1989
Virginia Whitner (Hoptman) Virginia (1980) 1981

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Cite this Page
Thurgood Marshall. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 15 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/justices/thurgood_marshall?order=field_education_value&sort=desc>.
Thurgood Marshall, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/justices/thurgood_marshall?order=field_education_value&sort=desc (last visited November 15, 2014).
"Thurgood Marshall," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 15, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/justices/thurgood_marshall?order=field_education_value&sort=desc.