Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)     By: Rhonda Ransom

Personal Information

July 2, 1908  -  (Thorough) Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

Education & Career Highlights


1930 - He obtains his Bachelor Degree and graduates from Lincoln University.

1933 - Marshall graduates from Howard University with a Law Degree. He was first in his class. He also begins private practice in Baltimore.

1933-1935 - Thurgood practices law in his hometown/area, Baltimore, Md; In 1934, he begins work for the NAACP, 1935, with Charles Houston, wins first major civil rights case Murray vs. Pearson.

1936-1939  - He moves to New York to become an assistant special counsel for the NAACP.

1940 - Mr. Thurgood wins first of 29 Supreme Court victories in the Chambers vs. Florida case. He is now the legal director of the NAACP.

1944 - Victoriously argues the Smith vs. Allwright case, overthrowing the South's ''white primary.''

1948 - Marshall wins Shelley vs. Kraemer, in which the Supreme Court abolishes legality of racially prohibited covenants.

1950 - Thurgood does it again and wins two, count them, two Supreme Court graduate-school integration cases, Sweatt vs. Painter & McLaurin vs. Oklahoma State Regents.

1951 - He goes all the way to 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 - The man himself returns to the U.S. to win one of the most famous cases in history, Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, landmark case that demolishes legal basis for segregation in America.

1961 - He defends civil rights demonstrators, winning Supreme Circuit Court victory in Garner vs. Louisiana ; he throws in the towel as NAACP's legal director as he is nominated to Second Court of Appeals by President J.F. Kennedy.

1961-1965 - Appointed the Honorable Judge Thurgood Marshall (as a circuit judge), makes 112 rulings, all of them later upheld by Supreme Court.

1965 - Appointed U.S. Solicitor General by President Lyndon Johnson; wins 14 of the 19 cases he argues for the government (1965-1967)

1967 - He becomes first black (African American) elevated to U.S. Supreme Court, he serves for 24 years! (1967-1991)

Thurgood Marshall photo

1991 - He retires from his amazing authority as the  Supreme Court Justice

His Tragic Death

1993 - Thurgood Marshall rests in peace leaving his wife, Cecilia, and two sons: Thurgood Jr.,  a lawyer on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and John, a member of the Virginia state police department.