Thurgood Marshall – Miniature Biography (TV14; 2:13) Thurgood Marshall was the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He was also among the top Civil Rights crusaders of the 20th Century.
Produced on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, Thurgood Marshall studied law at Howard University. As counsel to the NAACP, he used the judiciary to successful equality for African Americans. Marshall was named to the Supreme Court in 1967, and served for 24 years. He perished in Maryland on January 24, 1993.
Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, William Marshall, the grandson of a slave, worked as a steward for an exclusive club. His mom, Norma, was a kindergarten teacher. Among William Marshall’s favourite pastimes was to listen to cases in the neighborhood courthouse before returning home to rehash the attorneys’ discussions together with his sons. Thurgood Marshall later remembered, “Now you need to learn how I got involved in law? I do not understand. The closest I can get is that my father, my brother, and I ‘d the most violent disagreements you ever learned about anything. I think we claimed five out of seven nights in the dinner table.”
The teenaged Marshall was also something of a mischievous troublemaker. His biggest high school achievement, memorizing the whole United States Constitution, was truly a teacher’s punishment for misbehaving in class. There, he joined a unusually prominent student body that contained Kwame Nkrumah, the future president of Ghana; Langston Hughes, the great poet; and Cab Calloway, the well-known jazz vocalist.
After graduating from Lincoln with honours in 1930, Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School. Despite being capable academically, Marshall was rejected due to his race. This first-hand encounter with discrimination in schooling formed a long-lasting impression on Marshall and helped determine the future course of his career. The dean of Howard Law School in the time was the initiating civil rights attorney Charles Houston. Marshall immediately fell underneath the tutelage of Houston, a infamous disciplinarian and extremely demanding professor. Marshall remembered of Houston, “he’d not be filled until he went into a dancing on the campus and found all of his pupils sitting across the wall reading law books as opposed to partying.” Marshall graduated magna cum laude from Howard in 1933.
After graduating from law school, Marshall briefly tried to create his own practice in Baltimore, but without encounter he failed to get any major instances. In 1934, he started working for the Baltimore division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In among Marshall’s first cases which he claimed alongside his mentor, Charles Houston he defended another well qualified undergraduate, Donald Murray, who like himself had been refused entry to the University of Maryland Law School. Marshall and Houston won Murray v. Pearson in January 1936, the first in a long chain of cases designed to sabotage the legal foundation for de jure racial segregation in the United States.
After in 1936, Marshall moved to Nyc to work full time as legal counsel for the NAACP. Within the next decades, Marshall claimed and won a number of cases to strike down many kinds of legalized racism, helping inspire the American Civil Rights Movement.
But, the great accomplishment of Marshall’s career as a civil rights attorney was his success in the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of several black parents in Topeka, Kansas on behalf of the kids compelled to attend all-black segregated schools. In once, the case created Marshall as among the very successful and outstanding attorneys in The United States.
Serving as a circuit court judge within the following four years, Marshall issued more than 100 conclusions, not one of which was overturned by the Supreme Court. Subsequently, in 1965, Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, named Marshall to serve as the first black U.S. solicitor general, the lawyer designated to claim on behalf of the federal government before the Supreme Court. During his two years as solicitor general, Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.
Eventually, in 1967, President Johnson nominated Marshall to serve on the bench before which he’d successfully claimed a lot of times before the United States Supreme Court. On October 2, 1967, Marshall was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, becoming the very first African American to serve on the country ‘s highest court. Marshall joined a liberal Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, which aligned with Marshall’s perspectives on politics as well as the Constitution. As a Supreme Court justice, Marshall consistently supported opinions maintaining a solid protection of individual rights and liberal interpretations of contentious societal problems.
Throughout Marshall’s 24-year tenure on the Court, Republican presidents made eight successive justices, and Marshall slowly became an isolated liberal person in an increasingly conservative Court. Marshall retired in the Supreme Court in 1991; Justice Clarence Thomas replaced him. Thurgood Marshall died on January 24, 1993, in the age of 84.
Thurgood Marshall stands alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X as one of the largest and most significant figures of the American Civil Rights Movement. And although he may function as the least popularly observed of the three, Marshall was arguably the most instrumental in the movement’s accomplishments toward racial equality. In the wake of Marshall’s departure, an obituary read: “We make films about Malcolm X, we get a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, but every day we live with the heritage of Justice Thurgood Marshall.” Marshall married Vivian “Buster” Burey in 1929, as well as the couple stayed married until her death in 1955. Soon afterwards, Marshall married Cecilia Suyat, his secretary in the NAACP; they had two sons, Thurgood Jr. and John Marshall.