|Marshall in 1976|
|Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court|
October 2, 1967 – October 1, 1991
|Nominated by||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|Preceded by||Tom C. Clark|
|Succeeded by||Clarence Thomas|
|32nd United States Solicitor General|
August 1965 – August 1967
|President||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|Preceded by||Archibald Cox|
|Succeeded by||Erwin N. Griswold|
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit|
August 1961 – August 1965
|Nominated by||John F. Kennedy|
|Preceded by||New Seat|
|Succeeded by||Wilfred Feinberg|
July 2, 1908|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
January 24, 1993
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Vivien "Buster" Burey (1929–1955) (her death)
Cecilia Suyat (1955–1993) (his death)
|Children||Thurgood Marshall, Jr.|
Howard University School of Law
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African American justice.
Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a decision that desegregated public schools. He served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being appointed by President John F. Kennedy and then served as the Solicitor General after being appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. President Johnson nominated him to the United States Supreme Court in 1967.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Education
- 3 Marriage and family
- 4 Law career
- 5 Death and legacy
- 6 Thurgood Marshall Award
- 7 Timeline
- 8 Books authored
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 2, 1908. He was the great-grandson of a slave who was born in the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo; his grandfather was also a slave. His original name was Thoroughgood, but he shortened it to Thurgood in second grade because he disliked spelling it. His father, William Marshall, who was a railroad porter, and his mother Norma, a teacher, instilled in him an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law.
Marshall attended Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore and was placed in the class with the best students. He graduated a year early in 1925 with a B-grade average, and placed in the top third of the class. Subsequently he went to Lincoln University. It is commonly reported that he intended to study medicine and become a dentist. But according to his application to Lincoln University, Marshall stated that his goal was to become a lawyer. Among his classmates were poet Langston Hughes and musician Cab Calloway. Initially he did not take his studies seriously, and was suspended twice for hazing and pranks against fellow students. He was not politically active at first, becoming a "star" of the debating team and in his freshman year opposed the integration of African-American professors at the university. Hughes later described him as "rough and ready, loud and wrong". In his second year he got involved in a sit-in protest against segregation at a local movie theatre. In this same year, he was initiated as a member of the first black fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. His marriage to Vivien Burey in September 1929 encouraged him to take his studies seriously, and he graduated from Lincoln with honors (cum laude) Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, with a major in American literature and philosophy.
Marshall wanted to study in his hometown law school, the University of Maryland School of Law, but did not apply because of the school's segregation policy. Marshall instead attended Howard University School of Law, where he worked harder than he had at Lincoln and his views on discrimination were heavily influenced by the dean Charles Hamilton Houston. In 1933, he graduated first in his class at Howard.
Marriage and family
Marshall was married twice. He married Vivien "Buster" Burey in 1929. After her death in February 1955, Marshall married Cecilia Suyat in December of that year. They were married until he died in 1993, having two sons together: Thurgood Marshall, Jr., a former top aide to President Bill Clinton; and John W. Marshall, a former United States Marshals Service Director and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety.
After graduating from law school, Marshall started a private law practice in Baltimore. He began his 25 year affiliation with the Murray v. Pearson. In 1936, Marshall became part of the national staff of the NAACP.
In Murray v. Pearson, Marshall represented Princess Anne Academy, or out-of-state black institutions. Using the strategy developed by Nathan Margold, Marshall argued that Maryland's segregation policy violated the "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson because the state did not provide a comparable educational opportunity at a state-run black institution. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled against the state of Maryland and its Attorney General, who represented the University of Maryland, stating, "Compliance with the Constitution cannot be deferred at the will of the state. Whatever system is adopted for legal education must furnish equality of treatment now."
Chief Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
At the age of 32, Marshall won U.S. Supreme Court case Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227 (1940). That same year, he founded and became the executive director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. As the head of the Legal Defense Fund, he argued many other civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, most of them successfully, including Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649 (1944); Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948); Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629 (1950); and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637 (1950). His most famous case as a lawyer was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the case in which the Supreme Court ruled that "separate but equal" public education, as established by Plessy v. Ferguson, was not applicable to public education because it could never be truly equal. In total, Marshall won 29 out of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.
During the 1950s, Thurgood Marshall developed a friendly relationship with Emmett Till. In a private letter to Hoover, Marshall "attacked Howard as a 'rugged individualist' who did not speak for the NAACP." Two years earlier Howard arranged for Marshall to deliver a well-received speech at a rally of his Regional Council of Negro Leadership in Mound Bayou, Mississippi only days before the Brown decision. According to historians David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito, “Marshall’s disdain for Howard was almost visceral. [He] 'disliked Howard’s militant tone and maverick stance' and 'was well aware that Hoover’s attack served to take the heat off the NAACP and provided opportunities for closer collaboration [between the NAACP and the FBI] in civil rights.'"
Court of Appeals and Solicitor General
President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961 to a new seat created on May 19, 1961, by 75 Stat. 80. A group of Senators from the South, led by Mississippi's James Eastland, held up his confirmation, so he served for the first several months under a recess appointment. Marshall remained on that court until 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to be the United States Solicitor General, the first African American to hold the office. As Solicitor General, he won 14 out of the 19 cases that he argued for the government.
U.S. Supreme Court
On June 13, 1967, President Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice Tom C. Clark, saying that this was "the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place." Marshall was confirmed as an Associate Justice by a Senate vote of 69–11 on August 30, 1967. He was the 96th person to hold the position, and the first African American. President Johnson confidently predicted to one biographer, Doris Kearns Goodwin, that a lot of black baby boys would be named "Thurgood" in honor of this choice.
Marshall served on the Court for the next 24 years, compiling a liberal record that included strong support for Constitutional protection of certiorari in a capital case and from every decision upholding a sentence of death.
The government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and major social transformations to attain the system of constitutional government and its respect for the freedoms and individual rights, we hold as fundamental today.
In conclusion Marshall stated:
Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.
Although best remembered for jurisprudence in the fields of civil rights and criminal procedure, Marshall made significant contributions to other areas of the law as well. In Teamsters v. Terry, he held that the Seventh Amendment entitled the plaintiff to a jury trial in a suit against a labor union for breach of duty of fair representation. In TSC Industries, Inc. v. Northway, Inc., he articulated a formulation for the standard of materiality in United States securities law that is still applied and used today. In Cottage Savings Association v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, he weighed in on the income tax consequences of the Savings and Loan crisis, permitting a savings and loan association to deduct a loss from an exchange of mortgage participation interests. In Personnel Administrator MA v. Feeney, Marshall wrote a dissent saying that a law that gave hiring preference to veterans over non-veterans was unconstitutional because of its inequitable impact on women.
Among his many law clerks were attorneys who went on to become judges themselves, such as Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; Judge Ralph Winter of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan; as well as notable law professors Dan Kahan, Cass Sunstein, Eben Moglen, Susan Low Bloch, Rick Pildes, Paul Gewirtz, and Mark Tushnet (editor of Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions and Reminiscences); and law school deans Paul Mahoney of University of Virginia School of Law, Martha Minow of Harvard Law School, and Richard Revesz of New York University School of Law.
Death and legacy
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Marshall died of heart failure at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, at 2:58 pm on January 24, 1993, at the age of 84. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His second wife and their two sons survived him.
Marshall left all his personal papers and notes to the Library of Congress. The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, opened Marshall's papers for immediate use by scholars, journalists and the public, insisting that this was Marshall's intent. The Marshall family and several of his close associates disputed this claim. The decision to make the documents public was supported by the American Library Association. A list of the archived manuscripts is available.
There are numerous memorials to Marshall. One, an eight-foot statue, stands in Lawyers Mall adjacent to the Maryland State House. The statue, dedicated on October 22, 1996, depicts Marshall as a young lawyer and is placed just a few feet away from where the Old Maryland Supreme Court Building stood; the court where Marshall argued discrimination cases leading up to the Brown decision. The primary office building for the federal court system, located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., is named in honor of Justice Marshall and contains a statue of him in the atrium. In 1976, Texas Southern University renamed its law school after the sitting justice. In 1980, the University of Maryland School of Law opened a new library which it named the Thurgood Marshall Law Library. In 2000, the historic Twelfth Street YMCA Building located in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. was renamed the Thurgood Marshall Center. The major airport serving Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, was renamed the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 1, 2005. The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church added Marshall to the church's liturgical calendar of "Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints," designating May 17 as his feast day. His membership of the Lincoln University fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha is to be memorialized by a sculpture by artist Alvin Pettit in 2013.
The University of California, San Diego, renamed its Third College after Thurgood Marshall in 1993. Marshall Middle School in Olympia, Washington, is also named after Thurgood Marshall, as is Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C.
In 2006, premiered at the Westport Country Playhouse, starring James Earl Jones and directed by Leonard Foglia. Later it opened Broadway at the Booth Theatre on April 30, 2008, starring Laurence Fishburne. On February 24, 2011, HBO screened a filmed version of the play which Fishburne performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The production was described by the Baltimore Sun as "one of the most frank, informed and searing discussions of race you will ever see on TV.". On February 16, 2011, a screening of the film was hosted by the White House as part of its celebrations of Black History Month A painting of Justice Thurgood by Chaz Guest currently hangs at the White House.
Thurgood Marshall Award
The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico instituted in 1993 the annual Thurgood Marshall Award, given to the top student in civil rights at each of Puerto Rico's four law schools. It includes a $500 monetary award. The awardees are selected by the Commonwealth's Attorney General.
- 1908 – Born July 2 at Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
- 1930 – Graduates with honors from Lincoln University (cum laude).
- 1934 – Receives law degree from Howard University (magna cum laude) and begins private practice in Baltimore, Maryland.
- 1934 – Begins to work for Baltimore branch of NAACP.
- 1935 – Working with Charles Houston, wins first major civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson.
- 1936 – Becomes assistant special counsel for NAACP in New York.
- 1940 – Wins Chambers v. Florida, the first of twenty-nine Supreme Court victories.
- 1943 – Won case for integration of schools in Hillburn, New York.
- 1944 – Successfully argues Smith v. Allwright, overthrowing the South's "white primary".
- 1946 – Awarded Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.
- 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.
- 1956 – Wins Browder v. Gayle, ending the practice of segregation on buses and ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- 1957 – Founds and becomes the first president-director counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., a nonprofit law firm separate and independent of the NAACP
- 1961 – Defends civil rights demonstrators, winning Supreme Court victory in Garner v. Louisiana; nominated to Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President John F. Kennedy.
- 1961 – Appointed circuit judge, makes 112 rulings, none of them reversed on certiorari by Supreme Court (1961–1965).
- 1965 – Appointed United States Solicitor General by President Lyndon B. Johnson; wins 14 of the 19 cases he argues for the government (1965–1967).
- 1967 – Becomes first African American named to U.S. Supreme Court (1967–1991).
- 1991 – Retires from the Supreme Court.
- 1992 – Receives the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.
- 1992 – Receives the Liberty Medal recognizing his long history of protecting individual rights under the Constitution.
- 1993 – Dies at age 84 in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
- 1993 – Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, from President Bill Clinton.
For more, see Watson (2003).
- List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States
- List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States
- List of U.S. Supreme Court Justices by time in office
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Warren Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Burger Court
- United States Supreme Court cases during the Rehnquist Court
- "Members of the Supreme Court of the United States".
- Kallen (1993), p. 8
- Lewis, Neil (June 28, 1991). "A Slave's Great-Grandson Who Used Law to Lead the Rights Revolution". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- GMU. "Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice". Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "A Thurgood Marshall Timeline" A Deeper Shade of Black.
- Gibson, Larry S. (2012). Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice. Prometheus Books. p. 84.
- Skocpol, Theda (February 18, 2011). "Foreword". In Hughey, Matthew Windust; Parks, Gregory. Black Greek-Letter Organizations 2.0: New Directions in the Study of African American Fraternities and Sororities [Hardcover] (1 ed.). Jackson, Mississippi:
- Starks, Glenn; Erik Brooks, F. (2012). Thurgood Marshall. ABC-CLIO. page 7 & 8
- Nazel, Joseph. Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court Justice. Los Angeles: Melrose Square Pub, 1993. p. 57. ISBN 9780870675843
- Parks, Gregory S., Editor; Bradley, Stefan M. (2012). Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, The Demands of Transcendence.
- "Biographies of the Robes: Thurgood Marshall". PBS. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
- American Public Radio: Cissy Marshall
- Lomotey, Kofi (2010). Encyclopedia of African American Education. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
- Kluger, Richard (2004). Simple justice : the history of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's struggle for equality (1st Vintage Books ed. ed.). New York: Vintage Books.
- "Biographies: NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Teaching Judicial History, fjc.gov". http://www.fjc.gov/history/home.nsf/page/tu_bush_bio_naacp.html
- Root, Damon (March 20, 2009) A Forgotten Civil Rights Hero, Reason
- David T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 132–35, 157–58.
- "Civil Rights Giant and First Black Supreme Court Justice Honored on 2003 Black Heritage Series Stamp". United States Postal Service. August 7, 2002. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Graham, Fred P. (August 31, 1967) .Senate Confirms Marshall As the First Negro Justice; 10 Southerners Oppose High Court Nominee in 69-to-11 Vote New York Times.
- Kearns's research of birth records in New York and Boston indicates that Johnson's prophecy did not come true. According to the Social Security Administration Popular baby name database, Thurgood has never been in the top 1000 of male baby names.
- Tinsley E. Yarbrough (2000). The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution. Oxford University Press US.
- ThurgoodMarshall.com, Speeches. Constitutional Speech, May 6, 1987. Retrieved on April 7, 2009.
- Lee Epstein, Jeffrey Allan Segal (2005). Advice and consent: the politics of judicial appointments. Oxford University Press US.
- See generally, , YearbookHere Lies the Supreme Court: Gravesites of the JusticesChristensen, George A. (1983) at the Wayback Machine (archived September 3, 2005) Supreme Court Historical Society.
- Lewis, Neil A. (May 26, 1993). "Chief Justice Assails Library On Release of Marshall Papers". New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
- American Library Association statement of support.
- (2001)Thurgood Marshall: A Register of His Papers in the Library of CongressCartledge, Connie L., assisted by Allyson H. Jackson, Susie H. Moody, Andrew M. Passett, and Robert A. Vietrogoski, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.,
- "Thurgood Marshall Memorial". Maryland Archives. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- Thurgood Marshall Law Library, University of Maryland School of Law
- NEW YORK: St. Philip's celebrates Thurgood Marshall feast day, .
- "Thurgood Marshall Monument". Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, Nu Chapter. 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Schmidt, Steve (October 3, 1993). "UCSD ceremony dedicates Marshall College".
- Rizzo, Frank (May 14, 2006). "Thurgood". Variety. Variety. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- BWW (October 24, 2007). "Laurence Fishburne is 'Thurgood' on Broadway Spring 2008". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- Zurawik, David (February 18, 2011). "HBO's 'Thurgood' is an exceptional look at race and the law". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- "Marshall at IMDB.com". IMDB. February 28, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- White House (February 24, 2011). """White House Screening of "Thurgood. US Federal Government. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- McPeak, Joaquin (February 16, 2011). "City of Sacramento Press Release". Office of Mayor Kevin Johnson, City of Sacramento. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- CBS News, Whitney Drolen reports. "Local Artist Has Painting Hanging In The White House, Chaz Guest painted a portrait of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall - VIDEO".
- Mary Ann Akers. "'"Artist Paints Portrait of 'President Obama.
- Legislative Service Bureau, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
- NAACP Spingarn Medal
- Bland, Randall W. (1993). Private Pressure on Public Law: The Legal Career of Justice Thurgood Marshall 1934–1991. New York: University Press of America. ISBN 0-8191-8736-4
- Cushman, Clare (2001). The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–1995 (2nd ed.). (
- Frank, John P. (1995). Friedman, Leon; Israel, Fred L., eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions. Chelsea House Publishers.
- Hodges, Ruth A., Reference Librarian. Justice Thurgood Marshall: A Selected Bibliography, (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Washington, DC, February 1993).
- James Jr, Rawn (2010). Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation. Bloomsbury Press.
- Kallen, Stuart A., ed. (1993). Thurgood Marshall: A Dream of Justice for All. Abdo and Daughters.
- Mack, Kenneth W., (2012). Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-04687-0.
- Marshall, Thurgood (1950). "Mr. Justice Murphy and Civil Rights." 48 Michigan Law Review 745.
- Martin, Fenton S.; Goehlert, Robert U. (1990). The U.S. Supreme Court: A Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Books.
- Tushnet, Mark V. (1994). Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936–1961. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510468-4;
- Tushnet, Mark V. (1997). Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1961–1991. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509314-3 pp., 256.
- Urofsky, Melvin I. (1994). The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland Publishing. p. 590.
- Vile, John R., ed. (2003). Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia 1. Santa Barbara: ABC–CLIO. .
- Watson, Bradley C. S. (2003). "The Jurisprudence of William Joseph Brennan, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall". In Frost, Bryan-Paul; Sikkenga, Jeffrey. History of American Political Thought. Lexington: Lexington Books.
- White, G. Edward (2007), The American Judicial Tradition: Profiles of Leading American Judges (3rd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-513962-4.
- Williams, Juan, Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary (New York: New York Times, 1998). Promotional site for book ISBN 0-8129-3299-4; ISBN 978-0-8129-3299-7.
- .Thurgood MarshallAriens, Michael,
- , January 3, 1993.Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench interview with Hunter Clark and Michael Davis on Booknotes
- Mr Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP.Caouette, Mick. South Hill Films, 2014. To be broadcast nationwide on PBS channels in October 2014.
- , October 11, 1998.Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary interview with Williams on Booknotes
- Expanding Civil Rights, Biographies of the Robes, Thurgood Marshall.Fox, John, Public Broadcasting Service.
- atMiscellaneous biographies Answers.com.
- Oyez, .Thurgood Marshallofficial Supreme Court media,
- Supreme Court Historical Society .Thurgood Marshall
- Thurgood Marshall at Find a Grave
- REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN CEREMONY HONORING MEDAL OF FREEDOM RECIPIENTS – November 30, 1993
- Oral History Interview with Thurgood Marshall, from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
- FBI file on Thurgood Marshall
Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Erwin N. Griswold
Tom C. Clark
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
October 2, 1967 – October 1, 1991