A brief biography that in no way does "justice" to Thurgood Marshall's career:
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American member of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served on the court from 1967 until he retired in 1991. Earlier in his career, Marshall worked as a lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and helped win the 1954 landmark desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Throughout his life, Marshall used the law to promote civil rights and social justice.
Some highlights of Marshall's life :
* 1930 - Thurgood graduates with honors from Lincoln University, PA
* 1934 - Thurgood receives law degree from Howard University (magna cum laude); begins private practice in Baltimore, Maryland.
* 1934 - Begins to work for Baltimore branch of NAACP.
* 1935 - Worked with Charles Houston, wins first major civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson.
* 1936 - Becomes assistant special council 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 - Thurgood Marshall received a 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 J.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 elevated to U.S. Supreme Court (1967-1991).
* 1991 - Retires from the Supreme Court.
* 1992 - Receives the Liberty Medal recognizing Marshall's long history of protecting individual rights under the Constitution.
* 1993 - Dies at age 84 in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
A truly great American whose memory we celebrate during Black History Month.
Justice Marshall is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.