'Young Thurgood' Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was a crusader within the legal system for black Americans to obtain legal remedy against discrimination and bias. Charles Hamilton Houston served as his mentor and he went on to become NAACP General Counsel, a federal judge, U.S. Solicitor General and an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Houston often called him "Young Thurgood."

Born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, Thurgood Marshall was the grandson of a slave. His father, William Marshall, instilled in him from youth an appreciation for the United States Constitution and the rule of law.

After completing high school in 1925, Thurgood Marshall followed his brother, William Aubrey Marshall, at the historically black Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Just before graduation, he married his first wife, Vivian "Buster" Burey. Their twenty-five year marriage ended with her death from cancer in 1955.

In 1930, he applied to the University of Maryland Law School, but was denied admission because he was Black. Marshall sought admission and was accepted at the Howard University Law School that same year and came under the immediate influence of the dynamic new dean, Charles Hamilton Houston, who instilled in all of his students the desire to apply the tenets of the Constitution to all Americans.

Paramount in Houston's outlook was the need to overturn the 1898 Supreme Court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson which established the legal doctrine called, "separate but equal."

Marshall's first major court case came in 1933 when he successfully sued the University of Maryland to admit a young African American Amherst University graduate named Donald Gaines Murray.

In 1934 he became one of the first black attorneys to represent a white man when he and Charles Hamilton Houston successfully defended Maryland Communist Party attorney Bernard Ades against disbarment. Ades’ real “crime” in the disbarment proceeding was defending a black man charged with murdering a white family.

Marshall followed his Howard University mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston to New York and later became Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). During this period,

Marshall was asked by the United Nations and the United Kingdom to help draft the constitutions of the emerging African nations of Ghana and what is now Tanzania. It was felt that the person who so successfully fought for the rights of America's oppressed minority would be the perfect person to ensure the rights of the White citizens in these two former European colonies.

In the 1950s, Marshall tipped off the FBI about communist attempts to infiltrate the NAACP. But he was also the subject of FBI investigation, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover.

According to FBI files, critics tried to connect Marshall to communism through his membership in the National Lawyers Guild, a group that was called "the legal bulwark of the Communist Party” by the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee.

After amassing an impressive record of Supreme Court challenges to state-sponsored discrimination, including the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1954, President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

In this capacity, he wrote over 150 decisions including support for the rights of immigrants, limiting government intrusion in cases involving illegal search and seizure, double jeopardy, and right to privacy issues.

Biographers Michael Davis and Hunter Clark note that, "none of his (Marshall's) 98 majority decisions was ever reversed by the Supreme Court."

He moved to 64 G Street SW in Washington, D.C. from New York In 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson appointed Judge Marshall to the office of U.S. Solicitor General. Before his subsequent nomination to the United States Supreme Court in 1967, Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government.

Marshall represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other American.

Until his retirement from the highest court in the land, Justice Marshall established a record for supporting the voiceless American. Justice Marshall died on January 24, 1993.

This biography is largely taken verbatim from a George Mason University biography. The section on Bernard Ades and his Washington, D.C. address were added. Several superfluous sections were deleted.
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