Thurgood Marshall Poster, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross - PBS
DESIGN: Jed Dore

Thurgood Marshall

1908-1993
Source: Unanimous Opinion, Stanley v. Georgia (1969)

The 96th Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States was its first African-American one, Thurgood Marshall. The great-grandson of a slave born in modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo, Marshall was born in Baltimore to his parents, William, a railroad porter, and Norma, a teacher. He studied at Lincoln University and then at Howard University School of Law. After graduation, he set up a private practice and started working with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Four years later, Marshall was appointed Chief Counsel for the NAACP at the age of 32. He successfully argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court, including Brown v. the Board of Education in 1954. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961. President Johnson appointed him Solicitor General in 1965, and two years later, nominated him to the United States Supreme Court, where he served as Associate Justice from 1967 to 1991.

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