Thurgood Marshall Facts

Thurgood Marshall Facts
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in the United States, and was one of the 20th century's most influential Civil Rights advocates, having been responsible for ending segregation in schools. Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2nd, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Norma Marshall, a kindergarten teacher, and William Marshall, a railroad porter. Thurgood was a good student and graduated from high school a year early, going on to attend Lincoln University where he graduated with honors majoring in American literature and philosophy. Thurgood then attended Howard University School of Law, graduating in 1933. His legal career and Civil Rights work eventually led to his appointment as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.
Interesting Thurgood Marshall Facts:
Thurgood Marshall's great grandfather was a slave, brought to the U.S. from Africa where he was born.
Thurgood Marshall's name was originally Thoroughgood but he shortened it to Thurgood in grade two because he was tired of having to spell it out.
Thurgood Marshall attended Lincoln University after having applied to become a dentist, but he chose to become a lawyer instead.
While at Lincoln University Thurgood liked to play pranks and even got into some trouble.
Thurgood met his wife (Vivian Burey) at Lincoln University and they were married while still in school.
Although Thurgood wanted to attend the University of Maryland for law, segregation prohibited it and he attended Howard University of Law instead.
Following graduation from Howard Law, Thurgood Marshall began working in private practice in Baltimore.
In 1934 Thurgood Marshall represented the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in a law school discrimination case Murray v. Pearson. The case involved an African-American student being denied entrance to the University of Maryland because of segregation laws. He won the case, the first in several cases that would challenge and lead to the end of racial segregation.
Thurgood Marshall quickly became the NAACP's chief counsel.
At the age of 32 Thurgood Marshall won Chambers v. Florida, his first case before the Supreme Court, establishing that police coercion did not result in usable confessions.
In 1954 Thurgood Marshall won the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a Civil Rights case that ended segregation in schools.
Thurgood's wife Vivian died in 1955. He remarried and had two sons with Cecilia Suyat.
President John F. Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall as a circuit judge in 1961. He served as U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals judge for four years. During this time his 100 decisions were never overturned by the Supreme Court.
President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American U.S. solicitor general in 1965. 14 of the 19 cases he argued in the next two years resulted in wins for Thurgood.
President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood in 1967 to become a Supreme Court Justice.
Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice on October 2nd, 1967, making him the first African-American to hold the position in U.S. history.
Thurgood served as a Supreme Court Justice for 24 years, retiring in 1991 after having ruled on many landmark cases.
Thurgood Marshall died at the age of 84, on January 24th, 1993.


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