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date: 08 April 2020

Marshall, Thurgood locked

1908–1993 First black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, director of the legal defense fund for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and a lawyer whose victory in Brown v. Board of Education outlawed segregation in American public education.
  • Kate Tuttle


When Thurgood Marshall died in 1993, he was only the second justice to lie in state in the Supreme Court's chambers—Chief Justice Earl Warren, who had written the opinion in Marshall's most celebrated case, Brown v. Board of Education, was the other. This honor capped the outpouring of praise for the Court's first black justice, a man who, in the words of one of his former law clerks, “would have had a place in American history before his appointment” to the Court.

Indeed, Marshall's tenure as chief counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP and first director of its Legal Defense and Educational Fund made him one of America s most influential and well known lawyers His thirty years of public service first as a federal appeals court judge then as America s first black solicitor general and finally as ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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