One of the greatest fighters of civil rights, Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of a dining room steward and teacher. He achieved national recognition for his civil rights achievements as a lawyer and later as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Marshall attended public schools in Baltimore. He was a product of Frederick Douglass High School. Later, Marshall attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania to study dentistry. Marshall graduated from Howard University Law School in Washington, D. C. in 1933 at the top of his class.
Marshall returned to his native Baltimore to practice law. Most of his clients were people who made a modest living. Many could not afford the services he rendered. However, personal circumstances did not stop him from handling the problems that were presented to him. Marshall handled numerous cases involving legal disputes, police brutality, evictions, and other civil rights issues. Due to his untiring dedication and skillful court presentations, he became known as the "little man's lawyer."
In 1934, Marshall was appointed as an assistant to special counsel Charles Hamilton Houston, who worked for the Baltimore branch of the NAACP. In 1938, Marshall became a special assistant to the NAACP. Marshall represented clients with civil rights cases all over the United States. He won thirty-two out of thirty-five cases taken to the Supreme Court. His reputation spread throughout the United States for his outstanding work. Marshall was known as the greatest constitutional lawyer of this century when he served as chief attorney for the NAACP.
Marshall was nominated by President John F. Kennedy for appointment to the Second Supreme Court of Appeals (New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) September 23, 1961. The appointment was confirmed by the Senate. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Marshall for appointment as Solicitor General of the United States. In June of 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Judge Marshall to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. On August 30, 1967, Marshall was confirmed by the Senate to be the ninety- sixth Supreme Court Justice. He was the first African-American to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Justice Marshall received many awards and citations for his outstanding contributions to the field of civil rights until his death in 1993.
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